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Business News/ News / World/  US leader praises China for being 'very sensitive' to world's climate needs
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US leader praises China for being 'very sensitive' to world's climate needs

US Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that Americans can ‘learn from what China is doing’ in combating climate change.

Jennifer Granholm, US energy secretary (Bloomberg)Premium
Jennifer Granholm, US energy secretary (Bloomberg)

A surprising comment has come from the US President's administration where one of the leaders has praised China regarding climate initiatives.

US Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that Americans can "learn from what China is doing" in combating climate change.

In an interview at the annual SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, the Biden administration leader heaped praises on China for its efforts towards improving climate. She said that China is actually "very sensitive" about the issue, more so than the United States.

The US Energy Secretary said, "the amount of money that they’re investing in clean energy is actually, you know, encouraging".

She added, "We are hopeful that, you know, we can all learn from what China is doing".

This week, the Biden administration said it is directing $6 billion in funding to speed decarbonization projects in energy-hungry industries like steel, aluminum, and cement making that contribute nearly 25% of US greenhouse gas emissions. The program is part of President Joe Biden's pledge to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050. Granholm said the program will help cut pollution while ensuring the competitiveness of American manufacturing.

Meanwhile, China and the US have locked themselves into a new cycle of accusations. The latest back-and-forth started when President Xi Jinping said in a speech that China was the victim of “comprehensive containment and suppression by western countries led by the US". Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang also sharpened the warning, saying Washington faces possible “conflict and confrontation" if it fails to change course.

The two governments have the world’s biggest trading relationship and common interests in combating climate change and other problems. But relations are strained over Taiwan, Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong and mostly Muslim ethnic minorities, and its refusal to criticize or isolate Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The official Chinese view has soured following an uptick when Xi met US President Joe Biden in November in Indonesia, said Shi Yinhong, an international relations specialist at Renmin University in Beijing. He noted that in the five months since then, Washington approved more weapons sales to Taiwan, criticized Beijing’s stance on Ukraine, and put more Chinese companies on export watchlists, all of which China saw as hostile.

The United States formed a strategic group, the Quad, with Japan, Australia, and India in response to concern about China and its claim to vast tracts of the sea that are busy shipping lanes.

Xi’s government is especially irritated by displays of support by American and other Western legislators for Taiwan, which split with China in 1949 after a civil war.

And last month, the shooting down of alleged Chinese balloons by the US military, has deteriorated the ties between the two countries.

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Updated: 11 Mar 2023, 02:22 PM IST
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