Biden: China Made 'Big Mistake' by Not Showing Up to COP26 Summit
19:33 GMT 02.11.2021 (Updated: 20:47 GMT 02.11.2021)
© AP Photo / Andy Wong In this Sept. 16, 2018, file photo, American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags on top of a trishaw in Beijing. China says Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, the United States is trying to “demonize and stigmatize” bilateral its foreign relations, in a scathing attack on the Trump administration's designation of the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the Chinese Communist Party.
© AP Photo / Andy Wong
US President Joe Biden held a news conference on Tuesday during the second day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The UN conference seeks to accelerate member-nations' actions toward the goals of both the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
When asked about China's refusal to attend G20 meetings and COP26, Biden asserted that Beijing had made a "big mistake" and "lost influence" by choosing not to make an appearance at the two-week summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
"I think its been a big mistake, quite frankly, for China ... not showing up," Biden told reporters, adding that the world will question Beijing's "value."
"They've lost an ability to influence people around the world and all the people here at COP," he added.
The US president stressed that while there is clear "competition" between China and the US, there does not have to be "conflict."
Biden added that he would communicate this 'competition, not conflict' approach during upcoming virtual talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. A date has not been set for their meeting, he noted.
Although the US has a rocky record with climate agreements, Biden highlighted that "America showed up" for COP26 to tackle climate change, which he views as the "single-most-important issue" for the world.
Biden: Russia Has 'Serious Climate Problems'
Biden also took time to address the absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has expressed Moscow's commitment to support a draft and joint resolution seeking to end deforestation by 2030.
"His tundra's burning. Literally, the tundra's burning," Biden said, speaking of Putin. "He has serious climate problems. And he [has been] mum on his willingness to do anything."
Biden's Russian counterpart stressed this week that he believes "conservation of forests and other natural ecosystems" will play a vital role in global efforts against greenhouse emissions and global warming.
Russia has expressed a commitment to achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2060.
© REUTERS / Kevin LamarqueU.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021.
© REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
The US president touted that, aside from COVID-19-related supply chain issues, the American economy is "growing." Biden additionally proclaimed that Russia and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) bear some of the responsibility because they did not increase their production rate.
"First of all, the significant reason why prices are up is because of COVID affecting the supply chain," Biden told reporters. "If you take a look at … gas prices, and you take a look at oil prices, that is a consequence of thus far the refusal of Russia or the OPEC nations to pump more oil."