California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is planning a trip to China to meet with officials in an effort to boost climate cooperation.
Newsom is working with the Biden administration to organize the trip, he said Tuesday in an interview with Politico at the California Museum in Sacramento.
“The imperative of maintaining a relationship on climate with China is about the fate and future of this planet,” Newsom said. “It’s too important; it’s another example where California needs to lead.”
Newsom’s announcement follows a separate trip to China taken last week by U.S. officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who appealed to the country for cooperation on climate and other global issues. John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, also traveled to China in July, but he ended the trip without any concrete commitments to reduce emissions.
“We’re doing subnational work in the absence of any other leadership,” Newsom said, speaking of his planned visit.
The trip comes as tensions continue to rise between China and the U.S. on multiple issues, from technology and espionage to economic competition and military might.
Several close military confrontations between the two countries in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait have contributed to those tensions, along with the Chinese surveillance balloon discovered in American airspace that was shot down by the U.S. military last February and recent reporting that China has been spying on the U.S. from Cuba for years.
China halted its cooperation with the U.S. on issues including climate change for a few months last year after former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited Taiwan. China resumed talks on climate change with the U.S. last November.
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