China has a well-deserved reputation for deceit.
That’s what makes a recent statement from China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng so remarkable: It is honest. He said it’s “not realistic” to expect China to make a new pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There’s every reason to believe him, but the Biden administration is ignoring reality.
President Joe Biden’s Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, has embarked on a quixotic diplomatic quest to get China to cooperate with the United States and do something meaningful to combat climate change.
China might say there’s a climate crisis in a non-binding joint statement with the United States, but its real goal is to become the world’s dominant power — a dangerous prospect for the United States and China’s neighbors.
One reason China gets away with this is because it has made the most of its “developing” country status in the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change. Under this treaty, developing countries have far fewer responsibilities.
China is far from a ‘developing’ nation
The Framework Convention was signed in 1992, a time when China really was a developing country. Since then, its economy has grown more than 1,000% and its emissions more than 250%. It’s now the world’s second largest economy and largest emitter — twice as large as the United States.
Despite this, in an April 16 video meeting with Mr. Kerry, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng argued that as the…