India doesn’t have to match climate commitments expected of China. Modi must make it clear
US President Joe Biden has convened a virtual climate change summit later this week at which 20 top world leaders, whose economies contribute 80 per cent of the global carbon emissions, are expected to be present. At the time of writing this, it is still not clear whether President Xi Jinping of China will accept Biden’s invitation. Though his special climate envoy John Kerry recently visited China and held talks with his counterpart Xie Zhenhua, no assurances were forthcoming on this point.
The US insists that climate change is a “stand-alone” issue and should be insulated from other contentious issues in US-China relations, such as the raising of human rights issues in China’s Xinjiang and Tibet. More recently, the issue of Taiwan has also surfaced as a source of tension. China has strongly objected to former senior American officials being despatched to Taiwan by the Biden administration to convey American support to Taiwan’s security. The US Congress is considering legislation that would restore official level contacts between the two countries. This has further angered China. The Chinese spokesman has categorically rejected the US position that climate change should be considered as a stand-alone issue for cooperation between the two countries, asserting that the whole gamut of relations are inter-linked.
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