China Warns Cooperation With U.S. Depends on Overall Ties
Vehicles travel along Gloucester Road in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Chan Long Hei/Bloomberg)

China Warns Cooperation With U.S. Depends on Overall Ties

China expressed caution about cooperation with the Biden administration on global problems, saying that such action would depend on the state of relations between the two countries.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Thursday that Washington and Beijing have considerable room for collaboration in areas such as climate change. But he added that the U.S. must first take care not to harm China’s interests.

“China-U.S. cooperation in specific areas are by no means flowers in the greenhouse,” Zhao told a regular news briefing in Beijing. “They are subject to and closely linked with the overall climate of bilateral relations.”

The remarks came as U.S. President Joe Biden and his team affirmed Trump administration opposition to Chinese territorial claims in a series of calls with Asian allies. Earlier, Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, took a swipe at China’s climate plan, telling the World Economic Forum that the country’s net-zero goal need fleshing out.

“China has said they’re going to do something by 2060, but we don’t have a clue really yet how they’re going to get there,” Kerry said, pointing to the country’s continued support of coal-fired plants. He added that he hopes the U.S. can “work with China.”

Zhao highlighted climate change as one area where the two countries “have broad, common interest and cooperation space,” adding that the efforts of both countries led to the signing of the Paris agreement. Future cooperation between Beijing and Washington would depend on the Biden administration’s stance on other China-related issues, he said.

“No one should expect to flagrantly interfere into Chinese internal affairs and harm Chinese interests while asking China to offer its understanding and support in bilateral and global affairs,” Zhao said. “We hope the U.S. can work to create a favorable condition for China-U.S. coordination cooperation in important areas.”

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