WASHINGTON, Mar 20—Minister Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission and China’s top climate negotiator, signaled Wednesday the Chinese government’s willingness to work with the United States on reducing both countries’ greenhouse gas emissions in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Washington office. Earlier this week, Minister Xie met privately with members of the Obama administration’s energy-climate team to explore possibilities for additional U.S.–China cooperation.

Minister Xie’s visit follows more than a year of off-the-record, Track II, U.S.–China negotiations, facilitated by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Global Environmental Institute of Beijing (GEI), and aimed at improving U.S.–China cooperation on energy and climate issues.

Speaking publicly at the Endowment’s Washington offices on March 18, Minister Xie thanked GEI and Carnegie for their efforts in promoting China–U.S. dialogue on climate change, and he highlighted the importance of cooperation:

"Taking active measures to address climate change is in the interest of all mankind, and it requires the cooperation of all countries. As the largest developing country and the largest developed country in the world, respectively, China and the United States having a dialogue and strengthening cooperation on the issue of climate change are inevitable in history. China and the U.S. conducting dialogue and pragmatic cooperation on climate change will benefit not only the relations of the two countries, but also international cooperation and actions to address climate change."

Jessica T. Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment, said:

“U.S.–China cooperation is absolutely crucial to a global climate deal. We are hopeful that a presidential level agreement on U.S.–China climate cooperation will be reached soon. What has been missing until now is not the “what” to do, but the “how” to move ahead. The Track II talks have identified areas of mutual agreement. Following through is a historic opportunity—which the governments must not miss.”

Leadership in the Track II talks was provided by Carnegie scholars in Washington led by William Chandler, director of the Endowment’s Energy and Climate program, and by GEI, an independent Chinese non-governmental organization led by Jin Jiaman.

Jin said:

“Both Chinese and American participants agree that climate change threatens our countries. We expect the Chinese and American governments to take serious action to reduce emissions.”

Following the public session, Carnegie hosted a meeting between Minister Xie and American foundation heads to further initiatives in U.S.–China climate cooperation at the nongovernmental organization level. These efforts are supported by the blue moon fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. “We believe that action is urgently needed to speed emissions mitigation,” said Diane Edgerton Miller of the blue moon fund, [and] “we have been investing in this goal for some time.” Lin Jiang, representing the Energy Foundation, noted that his organization has been contributing to energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts in China for a decade.