BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping will take part in US President Joe Biden‘s climate summit being organised virtually on Thursday and Friday in which several world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will participate.
At the invitation of Biden, President Xi will attend and deliver an “important speech” at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate on Thursday by video link from Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.
Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including PM Modi, to the two-day conference beginning April 22, which according to a While House statement will underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.
It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, the statement said.
Chinese experts consider invitation to Xi for the summit as a positive signal for the China-US relationship, facing growing tensions on a number of issues like Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Chinese top leader’s attendance was confirmed just a day before the summit, and a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed he will be speaking at the summit, showing that the two countries are willing to take part in global efforts to address the climate issue despite tensions with the US, state-run Global Times daily reported.
The US and China are the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Former US President Donald Trump withdrew America from the Paris Climate deal but Biden announced the return of the US to the Paris climate accord after he took over the presidency. Climate change has been a major area of focus for Biden.
Ahead of the US-led climate summit, Xi held a video summit exchanging in-depth views and reaching a consensus for cooperation on climate change with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
China’s attendance signals that cooperation between China and the US is still the mainstream tone, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the daily.
“The attendance of our leader can also reassure other countries, as the world anxiously needs a strong voice on this issue,” Li said.