A top official in President Joe Biden’s State Department listed climate change as the first major transnational issue facing the United States and China during a Congressional hearing Tuesday.
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing on threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Tuesday. Republican California Rep. asked Kritenbrink and another witness, Undersecretary for Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez, what the most important transnational challenges are facing the United States vis-a-vis China.
“Yes sir, congressman, if I understand your question correctly about transnational challenges, I would list several,” Kritenbrink said. “Certainly climate change would be one, certainly food security would be one, pandemic disease would be another, proliferation would be another.”
Estevez, who works on export controls at the Department of Commerce, had named intellectual property theft and China’s pursuit of dual-use technology for military modernization as the top issue he deals with. (RELATED: China Accuses Biden Of Funding ‘Endless War’ In Ukraine, Blasts New Sanctions On Beijing)
Issa went on to remark that it was the issues named by Kritenbrink, not Estevez, that were the focus of a meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali last year, and have seemingly been priorities for the Biden administration in dealing with China.
The State Department has consistently named climate change as a leading issue with which it hopes to work with China on. Climate czar John Kerry has met numerous times with Chinese officials and praised the CCP’s climate progress, while critics of the administration have opined that Secretary of State Blinken may be prioritizing climate cooperation with China over other, more pressing issues.