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Compete, confront, cooperate: climate summit test for Biden’s China watchwords

Xi Jinping is likely to push back against US claim to global leadership, but both know their interests overlap on tackling environment

Observers of the US and China this week may ponder whether a joint call to tackle the climate crisis marks a positive change in their fraught relationship as the two leaders meet for the first time since Joe Biden was sworn into office.

After four years of Donald Trump, the bilateral relationship has reached its lowest ebb since formal ties were established in January 1979. In both capitals, fear of a “new cold war” is on the rise. Many highlight growing competition, and the opposing nature of the two countries’ political systems.

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