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CNBC: Tense diplomatic relations between China and the US threaten climate security

10-11-2022 |

Fraying diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China are a big concern at the COP27 climate summit.

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres called for a historic agreement — or “climate solidarity pact” — between developed and emerging economies at the start of the flagship climate conference.

The U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies and top greenhouse gas emitters, “have a particular responsibility to join efforts to make this pact a reality,” Guterres said on Monday.

“This is our only hope of meeting our climate goals.”

However, many fear tensions between Washington and Beijing could make climate cooperation at COP27 extremely difficult.

Carlos Pascual, senior vice president of global energy at S&P Global Commodity Insights, told CNBC that tensions between the U.S. and China “are going to have a cost on the global security agenda, the political agenda and the climate agenda.”

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration in recent months identified China as an even bigger threat than Russia in its National Security Strategy, and the White House warned Beijing it would come to Taiwan’s defense if it was invaded.

For its part, China accused the U.S. of sending “very wrong, dangerous signals” on Taiwan following a visit there in August by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Beijing also criticized a U.S. law that aims to boost processor chip production in the U.S. and reduce reliance on Asian suppliers.

“One of the things China has been very clear on is that for them, the question for Taiwan was such an important and existential issue that if there is a conflict over Taiwan and a sense that the United States is advancing interests that are against the interests of China, then that will override cooperation in every other sector,” Pascual said. “That is extremely problematic and worrisome.”

The strained diplomatic relationship could even spill over into trade issues throughout Asia, Pascual added, noting that China is the principal trading partner of virtually every nation in the region.

Source: CNBC