Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Don’t Fall for China’s Climate Change Trap

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The Chinese Communist Party is setting a trap

For the United States

Will President Biden fall for it?

Welcome to China Uncensored.

Im Chris Chappell.

Last week, US Climate Envoy John Kerry traveled to China.

Where he said that the world cant solve the climate crisis without Chinas engagement

and commitment.

Aww, thats so nice!

Its exactly what the Chinese Communist Party wanted to hear!

Because you can totally get Chinas engagement and commitment...for a price.

You see, US President Joe Biden has made tackling climate change one of the top priorities of

his administration.

Thats why US Climate Envoy Kerry traveled to Tianjin, China last week to meet with their

climate envoy Xie Zhenhua.

Kerry and Xie go way back.

Here they are in 2015 at the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, back when Kerry was

President Obamas Secretary of State.

And Mr. Kerry and Mr. Xie [have] held about 18 meetings since the start of the Biden administration.

Thats a lot, especially considering the fact that US-China relations continue to deteriorate.

And its a sign that the Chinese Communist Party sees climate change as something they

can use to their advantage.

On one hand, it makes sense for the Biden administration to engage China on climate

change because China is such a huge carbon dioxide emitter.

Chinas annual carbon dioxide emissions are about the same as those of the next three

biggest emitters combined: the United States, the European Union and India.

But thats also led to concerns that to get the Chinese regime to cooperate on climate

change, the US government could go easy on them when it comes to other important issues.

Like, Chinese factories can have a little Uyghur slave labor, as a treat.

As long as those factories are solar-powered!

But the Biden administration swore up and down they wouldnt do this.

That cooperation with Beijing on climate would not water down U.S. efforts to hold

China accountable on other issues, including...economic and human rights abuses.

Which is not what the Chinese Communist Party wants to hear.

And they made it very clear during Kerrys trip to Tianjin.

In addition to in-person meetings with Xie, Kerry met with several other Chinese officials

virtually, including Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi , the Chinese Communist

Partys top diplomat.

You might remember Yang as the guy who berated Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Alaska.

And it doesnt look like Kerry had a good time with Yang, either.

In fact, based on the photos released by Chinese state-run media, these looked like the worst

Zoom meetings ever.

I see John Kerry was using the Zoom zombie filter.

Either that or he turned into a withered husk after being forced to listen to Wang Yis

tirade.

Wang accused the US of a major strategic miscalculation and urged the U.S. side

to stop viewing China as a threat and rival, cease containing and suppressing China all

over the world, and take concrete steps to improve ties.

Wang also objected to the US calling climate change cooperation an oasis in the US-China

relationship.

Because If the oasis is all surrounded by deserts, then sooner or later the oasis

will be desertified.

Ohhhh I see what you did there.

Its a climate change metaphor!

How can the US discuss climate change with China when its responsible for changing

the climate of US-China relations?

Heres Wang Yis mic drop.

And then in case that wasnt enough pressure, Party official Yang Jiechi told Kerry the

US had committed a series of erroneous acts...to interfere in China's internal affairs

and undermine China's interests.

And the US needed to take concrete steps to rectify wrongdoings.

Im surprised Yang didnt tell Kerry to go to his room and think about what he did.

At this point, Kerry might as well have put on the Zoom cat filter.

It couldnt make things any worse.

The Chinese Communist Party has one message for the US: they wont cooperate on climate

issues unless the US caves and does what the Communist Party wants on other issues.

Which is exactly what the Biden administration said it wouldnt do.

But maybe Biden could cave just a little bit to China, as a treat.

As long as its for solar power!

More after the break.

Welcome back.

The Chinese regime hasnt always been so combative about climate cooperation.

Earlier this year, my favorite state-run media the Global Times suggested the climate issue

could be the new ping pong diplomacy.

Which didnt happen.

Unless you count Wang Yi taking a ping-pong paddle to Kerrys face.

You see, the Chinese Communist Party hoped that Biden would change Trumps China policies.

But the Biden administration has continued to be tough on China.

So the Communist Party is using Bidens climate change concerns as leverage.

Thats a nice climate youve got there.

It would be a real shame if it...changed.

Due to increasing carbon emissions from all of our new coal-fired power plants.

The Chinese regime thinks the Biden administration is weak.

Especially after Americas chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

And it knows the US needs a diplomatic win, especially ahead of COP26, the UN climate

change conference next month.

So the Chinese Communist Party is setting up a climate change trap for the Biden administration.

The Party would be happy to give President Biden a cooperation win, maybe by promising

to stop financing coal-fired energy projects in other countries.

As long as the US shows some more understanding toward Chinas interests.

Like stop sanctioning Chinese officials.

Or stop talking about Uyghur genocide.

Or stop selling weapons to Taiwan.

Or maybe lift a few of Trumps trade tariffs.

It doesnt really matter what Biden caves on.

As long as Chinese officials know hes willing to cave.

Then theyll play Biden like a fiddle.

And the US will have fallen for Chinas climate change trap.

The bottom line is the Chinese Communist Party will only do something about climate change

if they believe it benefits them.

Diplomatic pressure could work, but only if the Biden administration stays firm.

Once they cave to the Chinese regimes demands, its over.

Plus, the Chinese Communist Party could just lie about their climate change commitments

anyway.

Lying is their superpower.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged to make China carbon neutral by 2060.

But under the Paris Climate Agreement, China is considered a developing country.

Which means they can keep increasing their carbon emissions until 2030.

And even after pledging to cut emissions, China went on a coal spree.

Its building coal-fired power plants faster than the rest of the world combined.

And officials have said China has no other choice but to rely on coal power for now.

Thats because the Chinese Communist Party *does not care* about carbon emissions.

And its not just coal.

Back in 2019, China got busted for rogue emissions of an ozone-depleting chemical, CFC-11.

That was directly in violation of the Montreal Protocol, a legally binding international

treaty that China signed.

So the Chinese Communist Party is happy to ignore an environmental commitment, if that

commitment becomes inconvenient.

Now thats an inconvenient truth!

And theres another, more philosophical difference between how the US and China treat

the environment.

The idea behind man-made climate change is we need to cut carbon emissions to lessen

our impact on global warming.

In other words, man should stop changing nature.

But the Chinese Communist Partys philosophy is that man *should* change nature.

In fact, like Chairman Mao said, man must conquer nature.

Got lots of rivers?

Build dams!

Which is why China now has thousands of hydropower projects it doesnt want.

Got too much desert?

Plant a green great wall of trees...which could be making things worse.

Got lots of water in the south, and not enough water in the north?

Build the worlds largest water diversion project.

Which does more harm than good.

Worried about rain?

Seed the clouds!

That will guarantee no one rains on your parade.

You get the picture.

It would be more in character for the Chinese Communist Party to deal with global warming

by building the worlds largest air conditioner.

With Uyghur slave labor.

So is there anything the US can do to get China to address climate change?

Actually, yes.

Ill tell you more after the break.

Welcome back.

The US can get China to act on climate change, if they play their cards right.

First, like I said earlier, dont fall into the trap of caving into the Chinese regimes

political demands in exchange for climate cooperation.

Also, dont let the Chinese Communist Party game the system.

Thats what happened in the Paris Agreement, when China was allowed to continue growing

its carbon emissions until 2030.

[China] prefers its major economic and strategic competitors lead decarbonization

at great expense, both to render them less competitive and to pioneer best practices

by trial and error.

In other words, the Chinese regime wants the US to cut carbon emissions while China is

allowed to increase emissions, because this gives China an economic advantage.

Plus, the US can invent carbon-reduction technology that China can then steal for less!

Thats Chinese-style win-win mutual cooperation for you.

The authors of this Foreign Policy article argue the only way for the US to get China

to actually cooperate is through climate competition, including using carbon taxation.

In other words, make it economically costly for the Chinese Communist Party to keep increasing

its carbon emissions.

Literally make them pay for it.

The EU is already planning on doing this, with a carbon border tax.

And the Chinese regime hates it.

Thats why theyre complaining it violates trade principles.

But even if the US doesnt do this, the most important thing is to not fall for Chinas

climate change trap.

The real danger is if people in the US repeat the Communist Partys demands.

After his meetings in China, John Kerry told reporters he would pass on what Chinese officials

said to President Biden.

According to Kerry, On the one hand, were saying to them, You have to do more to

help deal with the climate.

And on the other hand, their solar panels are being sanctioned, which makes it harder

for them to sell them.

Ok.

But those solar panels are being sanctioned because of human rights abuses.

Specifically for being made using Uyghur slave labor.

Is Kerry saying that Chinese factories can have a little Uyghur slave labor, as a treat...as

long as those factories are making solar panels?!

Now, Kerry was President Obamas Secretary of State.

And Chinese officials lied to the Obama administration.

A lot.

So is Kerry being naive here?

Or just diplomatic?

Hard to say.

But there are other groups in the US who would like to persuade the Biden administration

to just ease up on the Chinese Communist Party.

For the environment.

Back in July, Over 40 progressive groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden and lawmakers...urging

them to prioritize cooperation with China on climate change and curb its confrontational

approach over issues like Beijings crackdown on Hong Kong and forced detention of Uyghur

Muslims.

The letter, which reads like it was ghostwritten by the Global Times, blames the US demonization

of China for being a major barrier to global climate talks.

And the solution of course is multilateralism, diplomacy, and cooperation with China.

Look, the Chinese Communist Party is an authoritarian regime that is torturing people, using them

for slave labor, and committing genocide.

They do not care about addressing the climate crisis.

They do not care about multilateralism and cooperation, unless they can use those for

their own advantage.

They only care about staying in power.

Lets just hope the Biden administration knows this.

And now its time for me to answer a question from one of you, a fan who supports China

Uncensored on the crowdfunding websites Patreon and Locals.

Mats Mathisen asks on Patreon: Hi Chris.

Ive been wondering something lately about how China are building so many new coal power

plants.

It seems odd seeing as how they are so worried about losing face, but then plan to pump even

more pollution into the air, which makes China look like even more of a dystopian nightmare.

Wouldnt it make sense for them to just jump past the fossil fuels and go straight

to renewables?

Its not like they havent stolen the necessary tech to do it.

Are there coal-barons pulling strings in the background or something else Im missing?

Well Mats, there arent exactly coal barons.

But there are coal-rich provinces.

Back in 2014, the Chinese regime gave the power to approve new coal power plants to

provincial governments instead of the central government.

Many local governments jumped at the opportunity to prop up GDP and create demand for locally

mined coal with new power projects, leading to around 210 projects...being rubber-stamped

in less than a year.

But the central government isnt exactly reining in these projects.

In fact, theyve given a green light to the vast majority of them.

And thats because in China, GDP and economic growth is king.

Well, the Communist Party is king, but you get what Im saying.

And economic growth is also the reason China isnt abandoning fossil fuels for renewables.

The Communist Party is looking to boost growth as fast as possible because of losses due

to the coronavirus pandemic.

And to do that, they need coal.

Because renewable energy (sources such as) wind and solar power are intermittent

and unstable, we must rely on a stable power source.

We have no other choice.

Thats how one government official explained it.

And sure, building more coal plants might make China look bad, but theyre a developing

country.

The US has been allowed to pollute the planet since the Industrial Revolution.

Clearly, China should get a lot more time to do their own polluting.

Thats just fair.

Thanks for your question, Mats.

Be like Mats and support us on Patreon.com/ChinaUncensored, or on ChinaUncensored.Locals.com, and youll

have the chance for me to answer one of your questions on the show.

Im Chris Chappell.

Thanks for watching China Uncensored.

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