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Did the Chinese put John Kerry at the back of the bus? ‘No official vehicle for Climate Clown’

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U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry spent two days in Shanghai talking with Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua, emerging with a commitment to work together on countering climate change.

The special envoys said in a joint statement: “The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands. This includes both enhancing their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”

Interestingly, a photo making the rounds showed what appeared to be Kerry riding in a bus while in Shanghai.

As noted in the tweet below, Kerry is seen sitting in the back of the bus.

Jennifer Zeng, a People’s Republic of China-born human rights activist, tweeted that the Communist Party of China arranged for the transportation and that he was met by lower-level officials.

“The CCP hired a bus from a travel company for John Kerry, and [no] longer arranges for officials at the state councilor level to meet him. How humiliating,” she tweeted.

The meeting comes just as President Joe Biden is set to host a virtual climate summit this week, the Leaders Summit on Climate, which is taking place Thursday and Friday. The summit’s goal is “raising global climate ambition on mitigation, adaptation, and support on the road to COP 26 in Glasgow,” according to the State Department.

Biden invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to the Associated Press.

“The U.S. and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting, along with pledging financial help for climate efforts by less wealthy nations,” the news agency reported.

Kerry told reporters Sunday in Seoul, South Korea, that the language in the statement is “strong” and that the two countries agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go.”

“I learned in diplomacy that you don’t put your back on the words, you put on actions. We all need to see what happens,” he added.

China is reportedly the biggest carbon emitter in the world, followed by the U.S., with AP noting that the two countries account for “nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the planet’s atmosphere.” China is also the world’s biggest coal user and Kerry said there was lots of talk about accelerating a global energy transition.

“I have never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere,” he said.

It remains to be seen just how hard the Biden administration plans to push China on human rights concerns in the country.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham responded to Zeng’s tweet to poke fun at Kerry.

“John Kerry’s big climate talks with the Chinese are off to an auspicious start,” she tweeted, adding sarcastically, “(Why should an envoy of a ‘systemically racist’ country get car service anyway?)”

Here’s a sampling of other responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison

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