The meeting occurred as the Biden administration seeks to improve relations with the Chinese Communist Party.
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry met with Chinese deputy leader Han Zheng in New York City on Sept. 19 as the Biden administration seeks to stabilize strained relations with China.
The two sides met on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the “critical importance of bilateral and multilateral efforts to address the climate crisis,” according to the State Department.
Mr. Kerry stated on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he had a “constructive conversation” with Mr. Han. He reiterated the urgency to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
He also urged the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a one-party regime, to “raise ambition” in accelerating decarbonization efforts and reducing emissions of super pollutants like methane.
Mr. Kerry has been among some top U.S. officials from the Biden administration to have visited China in recent months to improve relations with the CCP. He visited Beijing in July for climate talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua.
Other U.S. top officials who have made the visits include Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Mr. Blinken “explored potential areas of cooperation and advocated for progress on shared transnational challenges” and touched on issues from the Russia–Ukraine war to North Korea’s provocative actions.
He emphasized the need to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait, where the CCP has been escalating its military drills to exert pressure on Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as part of its territory.
Biden Administration Making ‘Repeated Concessions’
Rep. Young Kim (R-Calif.), who chairs the Subcommittee on Indo-Pacific at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the Biden administration’s move to engage with Beijing could embolden the CCP to continue its military actions against Taiwan.
“We have to continue to support our partners in Taiwan. We have to continue to make crystal clear that any action that undercuts their safety and security is unacceptable.”