House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that opening a dialogue with China on climate change should be prioritized as an “overriding problem” despite the geopolitical threats of the Communist nation.
“The situation in China is getting tighter and it’s getting worse,” he said at a program in Cambridge, England.
Call with China’s XI Xinping, ‘Don’t set guardrails’ to ensure competition
Pelosi, D-Calif., Said human rights violations — including the Uyghur genocide in western China — are security threats and economic challenges posed by China to the United States but those issues are helpful compared to climate change.
“With their military aggression in the South China Sea, the continuing genocide with the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Province, with the violation of Tibet’s cultural … religious preference, the repression of their democracy in Hong Kong and other parts of China – they are getting worse in terms of repression,” said the House Speaker.
“After all that said … we have to work together on the weather,” he said. “Climate is the biggest problem, and China is the world’s major emitter – the US, too, the developed world – but we need to work together.
Pelosi’s plea for open dialogue comes a week after President Biden made his first phone call with Chinese President Xi Jin Ping since February.
French Foreign Minister US-Australia submarine deal a ‘stab in the back’
The White House did not specifically disclose what was discussed in the 90-minute conversation, but said the call was “a broad, strategic debate in which we discussed areas where our interests converge and where our interests, values and perspectives differ.”
“He agreed to speak openly and directly about both issues,” the White House said.
US-China relations were tense with the Trump administration when it was criticized by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for its alleged role in the coronavirus epidemic.
The Biden administration has clashed with the PRC over China’s human rights violations in Xin Jiang Province and Hong Kong, and its aggressive military actions in the South China Sea and a threat campaign against Taiwan.
Pelosi said he had visited China several times during his tenure and was accused of being “the worst American in China” – he was wearing a “badge of honor.”
Since entering office, Biden has sought to strengthen US relations with Western nations in an attempt to counter China globally.
Brooke Singman contributed to this report.