China’s Xi will speak at Biden’s virtual climate summit

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China’s President Xi Jinping will take part in President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit this week.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said Tuesday night that Xi will attend the summit and “deliver an important speech by video.”

The U.S. and China are the world’s top two carbon polluters, and tensions between the two countries have been rising in recent years over a multitude of issues. Last weekend, Biden’s special envoy for climate, John Kerry, secured an agreement with China to cooperate on climate issues and to treat the matter “with the seriousness and urgency that it demands.”

Biden has invited 40 world leaders to the two-day virtual summit Thursday and Friday, in a meeting seen as a precursor to the U.N.-hosted COP26 climate talks to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Biden is trying to win back global goodwill, after the Trump administration burned a number of bridges when it came to the issue of climate change, including withdrawing from the landmark Paris accord, which Biden immediately rejoined after taking office.

Biden is expected to pledge that the U.S. will cut its carbon emissions by at least half by 2030, a crucial commitment that is intended, at least in part, to convince other economic powers — including China — to offer similar pledges.

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