Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting. File photo
Chinese President Xi Jinping will take part in President Joe Biden’s climate summit this week, Beijing said on Wednesday, as the world's top polluting nations seek rare common ground despite wider political tensions.
China and the United States are the biggest emitters of climate-changing carbon pollution.
Biden has invited 40 world leaders including Xi and Russia's Vladimir Putin to the meet starting on Earth Day, meant to mark Washington's return to the front lines of the fight against climate change after former president Donald Trump disengaged from the process.
Xi said in December that China’s emissions would fall by 65% from 2005 levels by 2030.
President Joe Biden speaks during an event. File photo
The virtual summit will be the first meeting between the two leaders since Biden became president.
Xi will give an "important speech" at the meeting, said the Chinese foreign ministry, days after a trip to Shanghai by US climate envoy John Kerry -- the first official from Biden's administration to visit China.
Kerry and Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua had said they were "committed to cooperating" on tackling the climate crisis, even as sky-high tensions remain on multiple other fronts.
Washington and Beijing's pledge to cooperate comes amid acrimony over accusations about China's policies in Hong Kong and its treatment of Uyghurs in its northwestern Xinjiang region -- criticisms Beijing rejects as interference in its domestic affairs.No global solution on climate change is likely without both the US and China on board, since the world's top two economies together account for nearly half of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.
Biden smiled as Xi greeted the US leader with a "good to see you", kicking off what is expected to be two hours of intensive talks.
Biden said he goes into Monday's encounter on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Indonesia stronger after his Democratic Party's unexpected success in midterm elections they were forecast to lose heavily.
US President Joe Biden on Tuesday called Xi Jinping ‘a dictator’, a day after top US diplomat Antony Blinken visited Beijing to stabilise bilateral relations that China says are at their lowest point since formal ties were established.
The two leaders spoke just hours after Biden announced plans for a Pentagon task force to review US national security strategy in China and after the new US president announced he was levying sanctions against Myanmar’s military regime following this month’s coup in the southeast Asian country.
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