China Rejects US Sustainability And Inclusivity Proposal

China has rejected the Biden administration’s attempts to inject “sustainability and inclusivity” into its trade and investment policies. The US government proposed that Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members adopt the so-called “San Francisco Principles for Integrating Inclusivity and Sustainability into Trade and Investment Policy” into its business and trade arrangements, but China lodged a formal objection.

An APEC summit in San Francisco sought to reach an agreement among the group’s 21 member states, with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai urging nations to incorporate clean energy coals into their business development plans.

“Our economies are more than just numbers,” Tai said. She is also seeking an environmentally friendly steel arrangement with the European Union, hoping to disadvantage Chinese steel producers due to their high carbon emissions.

Details of either the US proposal or the Chinese rejection have yet to be fully known, but generally, US proposals sought to emphasize the creation of opportunities for diverse and disadvantaged populations, as well as concern for carbon emissions. Commentators point out that China’s opposition, while also light on detail, highlights a divergence in philosophy and broader business approach between the US and China.

Meanwhile, however, President Biden met with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping on the fringes of the summit, and Biden said it was one of the most productive encounters they’ve had. The two leaders reportedly agreed to cooperate to reduce methane emissions and to counter the Fentanyl epidemic facing America.

Fentanyl caused tens of thousands of American deaths last year and is produced by South American drug cartels using chemicals imported from China. The Chinese leader said his country would cooperate with the United States to tackle the crisis.

Biden and Xi furthermore pledged to open more lines of communication between them, including military-to-military communication. Mr. Xi also hinted that China was open to sending Panda bears to American zoos. “Pandas have long been envoys of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples,” Xi said.