Since joe biden became America’s president in January, few senior American officials have visited China. But as The Economist went to press, Mr Biden’s special envoy for climate change, John Kerry, was in the middle of his second trip this year. With relations so rancorous in almost every other domain, the two countries appear to welcome the chance to talk about a problem they hope can be tackled together. There may be political dividends for both.
Mr Kerry has set his sights on coal, a big contributor to global warming. China is not only the world’s biggest producer and consumer of it, but has also been a leading financer of coal-fired power plants in developing countries. During his talks with Chinese officials in the northern city of Tianjin, which began on September 1st and were due to end on September 3rd, Mr Kerry was expected to urge China to cease its involvement in such projects abroad.