SHANGHAI : China and the United States have common ground in the area of climate change and cutting carbon emissions, but cooperation cannot be separated from wider trade issues between them, a senior Chinese trade official said on Wednesday.
Vice-commerce minister Wang Shouwen told a China-U.S. trade event in Xiamen that strengthening green and low-carbon cooperation would not only help the two sides achieve their emission reduction targets, but would also boost overall economic and trade cooperation.
Amid simmering trade and political tensions with Beijing, Washington has sought to treat joint actions to combat climate change as a standalone issue.
However, during a meeting with visiting U.S. climate envoy John Kerry last week, senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said the "oasis of climate cooperation" could not be kept apart from the wider bilateral relationship between the world's two biggest producers of greenhouse gases.
Kerry acknowledged last week that broader geopolitical disputes between China and the United States could have a potentially adverse impact on climate cooperation.
Talking to journalists after two days of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua, Kerry cited U.S. sanctions imposed on solar panel manufacturers with ties to the region of Xinjiang, where Washington accuses China of committing human rights abuses.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Stephen Coates)