China's Xi ready to step up climate change cooperation with France, Germany

April 16, 2021 9:35 AM EDT

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds at the closing session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


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BEIJING (Reuters) -China is willing to strengthen cooperation with France and Germany to cope with climate change, President Xi Jinping told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese state media reported on Friday.

Xi last year announced that China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, would achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

"Responding to climate change is a common cause of all mankind and it should not become a geopolitical bargaining chip, a target for attacks on other countries or an excuse for trade barriers," the official Xinhua news agency cited Xi as saying in a video summit with the European leaders.

The U.S. State Department, then under the Trump administration, said in September that China had showed "wilful disregard" for air, land and water quality, and was putting global health at risk with its greenhouse gases, drawing a sharp rebuke from Beijing.

The video summit came as U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry was in Shanghai for talks with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua.

China-EU relations face new opportunities and various challenges, Xinhua cited Xi as saying, adding that Beijing would create a fair and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies including French and German firms, and hopes Europe can treat Chinese companies in the same positive way.

(Reporting by Judy Hua, Lusha Zhang and Kevin Yao; Additional reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Toby Chopra and Alexander Smith)



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