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US Envoy John Kerry Starts Climate Talks In China

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President Xi Jinping attends a plenary session of China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing last month

China, the world's biggest polluter, announced an ambitious target to be carbon-neutral by 2060, but analysts have warned high reliance on coal and modest short-term targets could scupper the ambition.

BEIJING (AP) - U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is in talks in China on Thursday ahead of President Joe Biden's climate summit of world leaders.

"We must insist Beijing do more to reduce emissions and help tackle the worldwide climate crisis", said a State Department spokesperson who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

During his stay in China through Saturday, Kerry is due to meet with Xie Zhenhua, the Chinese government official in charge of climate change policy.

A report from analysis company TransitionZero on Thursday said China needed to "cancel all new coal immediately and indefinitely" and convert nearly all of its coal fleet by 2040 in order to meet the zero-emissions target.

No global solution on climate change is likely without both the USA and China on board, since the world's top two economies together account for almost half of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.

"I don't have any information to offer", Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thursday.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese head of state Xi Jinping, to participate in an April 22-23 virtual climate summit.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kerry said the U.S.is not wrapping the climate issue into talks on other topics that the US and China disagree on.

"It is important that every part of New Zealand's economy is helping us cut emissions and transition to a low-carbon future", he said.

Some analysts say the Biden administration is so far separating its concerns about climate change from the region's key issues such as China's reported human rights violations and increasing territorial aggression.

Seoul has been active in cooperating with Washington in the fight against climate change, a nonpolitical issue that the USA regards as a realm for cooperation with its strategic rival, China, as well.

"We have a big agenda with China", Green said Thursday.

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