President Joe Biden invited Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping to the first major climate talks of his administration, the Associated Press reported Friday.
The event will include more nations beyond just the U.S., Russia and China and will take place April 22 and 23. Biden has already met with Putin and Xi individually, but the event will be the first time the three nations have come together under Biden’s administration. The meeting will revive a climate forum founded under former President Barack Obama that former President Donald Trump allowed to lapse. (RELATED: US Sanctions 24 Officials Over China’s Latest Crackdown On Hong Kong)
While Biden has criticized both leaders for human rights abuses and other shortcomings, all three leaders have expressed that climate change is an area where they seek to cooperate.
Biden’s relationship with China in particular became testy following a dramatic meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, between Secretary of State Tony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan and their Chinese counterparts.
Biden made clear prior to the meeting that it would not be the start to a dialogue, merely a declaration of where the U.S. stands. Blinken and Sullivan ripped into China’s “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and its destruction of democracy in Hong Kong, among other issues. (RELATED: President Biden Launches Pentagon Task Force To Counter China)
Together with the Chinese response, Blinken’s opening statement lasted for more than an hour. His Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi delivered a 15-minute response in Chinese, reported Reuters.
The Chinese officials argued the U.S. was overstepping into “internal matters” with criticisms of Xinjiang and Hong Kong. They also argued American democracy was “struggling” and attributed ongoing racial strife in the U.S. to America’s “mistreatment” of minorities.
While Biden has adopted a less aggressive line against China, his policies and goals mirror those of former President Donald Trump. Defeating China’s initiative’s on the global stage appears to a bipartisan issue in the U.S., with politicians only disagreeing on how pressing the issue is.