Chinese President Xi Jinping will take part in the virtual climate summit convened by US President Joe Biden on Thursday and Friday in which several world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will participate. Xi’s confirmation comes days after John Kerry, US special envoy on climate change, held talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Shanghai. Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday, “At the invitation of US President Joe Biden, President Xi will attend and deliver an 'important speech' at the Leaders' Summit on Climate on Thursday by video link from Beijing.” The US and China are the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases.

On Tuesday, Xi made veiled references to the US-led West in an online speech delivered at an economic forum, rejecting what he called hegemonic powers in global governance and saying there should be no 'bossing' and 'meddling' in other countries which is seen as a continuation from Alaska meeting last month between the two countries.

The US President has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, to the two-day conference beginning April 22, which according to a While House statement will underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, the statement said. Chinese experts consider invitation to Xi for the summit as a positive signal for the China-US relationship, even as they bicker over a host of diplomatic, trade and human rights issues.

Two-day summit will also resume the talks on the climate change issue which was halted as the US under Former US President Donald Trump withdrew itself from the Paris Climate deal but Biden announced the return of the US to the Paris climate accord. Climate change has been a major area of focus for Biden. 

Ahead of the US-led climate summit, Xi held a video summit exchanging in-depth views and reaching a consensus for cooperation on climate change with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “China expects that this summit will provide a platform for global cooperation to address climate change challenges, promote the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, and provide a useful platform for exchanges and cooperation to jointly promote global climate and environmental governance.”

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