House GOP Launches Investigation Into Biden’s Climate Envoy Over China Talks
John Hugh DeMastri on February 3, 2023
The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability launched an investigation Thursday into John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s special climate envoy, over his negotiations with the Chinese government.
Kerry has “continued to downplay” China’s human rights violations and hostile relationship with the United States, in a bid to encourage climate negotiations that the “[Chinese Communist Party] does not even appear interested in entering,” Republican Rep. James Comer wrote in a letter to Kerry. After negotiations with China on climate issues stalled following former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, Kerry urged China back to the negotiating table in September after praising the country in August for overperforming on climate goals.
“To date, you have failed to respond to any of our requests,” Comer wrote. “Yet, you continue to engage in activities that could undermine our economic health, skirt congressional authority, and threaten foreign policy under the guise of climate advocacy.”
Climate talks resumed Nov. 14 after Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jingping, according to The New York Times. Kerry met with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, at least seven times casually during the November COP27 climate conference, and the two have known each other for roughly 20 years.
“While the Department does not comment on Congressional inquiries, the Department works to appropriately accommodate such requests,” a State Department spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Separately, the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate has and will continue to engage Members of Congress on international efforts to combat the climate crisis.”
Kerry expressed optimism that talks with China could lead to a “breakthrough that could make a huge difference” on climate change at the World Economic Forum on Jan. 18, CNBC reported. Between October 2022 and January 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol had impounded 2,600 Chinese solar panel imports worth $806 million, under suspicion that they had been produced using slave labor of Uyghur Muslims.
The White House did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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