China’s Xi to attend online Biden climate summit

China, the world’s top carbon emitter, has vowed to reach peak emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral thirty years later.

BEIJING: China’s President Xi Jinping will attend a virtual climate summit this week hosted by US President Joe Biden, the Chinese foreign ministry said Wednesday, as political tensions between the two countries remain high.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders including Xi and Russia’s Vladimir Putin to the meet starting on Earth Day, meant to mark Washington’s return to the front lines of the fight against climate change after former president Donald Trump disengaged from the process.

Xi will give an “important speech” at the meeting, the statement said, which comes days after a trip to Shanghai by US climate envoy John Kerry — the first official from Biden’s administration to visit China.

Kerry and Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua had said they were “committed to cooperating” on tackling the climate crisis, even as sky-high tensions remain on multiple other fronts.

China, the world’s top carbon emitter, has vowed to reach peak emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral thirty years later.

Washington and Beijing’s pledge to cooperate on climate change comes amid acrimony over accusations about China’s policies in Hong Kong and its treatment of Uyghurs in its northwestern Xinjiang region — criticisms Beijing rejects as interference in its domestic affairs.