Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry appeared to dismiss all American concerns about non-climate-related issues with China following his Wednesday trip to Beijing.
Kerry traveled to Beijing this week to address ways to address climate concerns with China, and said Wednesday that “nothing will get in the way” of cooperating with China to address climate change, including a possible invasion of Taiwan. Congressional Republicans have raised concerns about Kerry’s alleged downplaying of China’s human rights abuses and for being willing to cooperate with China on climate change.
“We all hope nothing will get in the way of our ability to deal with the climate crisis because as I said previously, it doesn’t wait for these things,” Kerry said. “It is not something that you can just say ‘stop, we’re doing something else and we’ll come back to you.’ It’s going to continue. The climate issue is not a bilateral issue in our judgement. President Biden believes, as I think most of the world does, that the climate crisis is a universal threat to human kind and we all have a responsibility to deal with it as rapidly as we can.”
“And I hope we’ll leave other issues aside so that something that is a concern that more and more people are being dislocated, have food shortages, who have water challenges, who can’t be in the heat, can’t live in the heat, these are … no country can turn its back on that for any period of time and that’s our feeling from the climate side on how we need to respond,” he continued.
Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on China, criticized Kerry during a Monday interview with Fox News for ignoring the human rights abuses and being China’s favorite U.S. official to negotiate with due to his push to work alongside the country. (RELATED: John Kerry Brushes Off Question About Uyghur Genocide: ‘Life Is Always Full Of Tough Choices’)
“There is a real cost to this zombie engagement among the many officials who have traveled there,” Gallagher told Fox News’ Dana Perino. “John Kerry is actually the Chinese Communist Party’s favorite person to deal with because John Kerry believes we need to cooperate with China when it comes to climate change. And John Kerry and many others in the Biden administration fail to see what’s obvious, which is that the CCP itself, not climate change, is the greatest threat we face.”
Kerry also dodged a question on whether Chinese President Xi Jinping is a dictator. Gallagher called his response “embarrassing and shameful,” adding that Jinping is the “most powerful” leader since Chairman Mao.
Kerry has continuously brushed off the Chinese concentration camps imprisoning Uyghur Muslims. Between 800,000 and two million Uyghur and other Muslims are estimated to have been detained in Chinese concentration camps since 2017, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. The U.S. and other nations have described China’s treatment of the group as demographic genocide, and the United Nations human rights office has said the violations could constitute crimes against humanity.
Multiple reports have also found the use of forced labor, including for U.S. corporations.