China and the United States are two of the world’s biggest carbon polluters, and when both entered the Paris Agreement the moves were seen as a win for the rest of the world. But now as President Donald Trump considers leaving, China recently reaffirmed their commitment to the landmark 2015 deal. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the country would stick to the accord regardless of other countries’ changing stances.
The news broke on the last day Trump was planning to yank America out of the agreement. He demurred, at first saying he would be making his announcement “over the new few days” with the addition of his campaign slogan in all capital letters. Several hours after that tweet he said he’d be announcing his decision on Thursday at 3:00 PM (no time zone given), with another all-caps slogan tacked on.
But China isn’t going to wait for the United States. On Thursday they said they’ll remain in the agreement. Hua said in a daily news briefing on Thursday the Paris deal hadn’t been arrived at easily, and served as the international community’s consensus on climate change.
She said, “Climate change is a global challenge. No country can place itself outside of this…We are willing to work with all sides to jointly protect the Paris Agreement process, promote the actual rules and regulations of the agreement in follow-up talks and effectively enact them, and promote global green, low carbon, sustainable development.”
Hua was asked if China has been discussing the agreement with Trump’s administration and said the two countries “have close communications about a wide variety of topics,” one of which is climate change.
Should the United States leave the historic deal they would be in company with Nicaragua and Syria, which are the only two countries so far to not agree to the accord. Leaving the deal would likely hurt America’s relationships with allies abroad, many already on uncertain footing thanks to Trump.