Could China be using the fear of climate change as a geopolitical tool to strengthen its economical and political power? [closed]

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The Politicus
Sep 11, 2021 12:41 PM 0 Answers
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It is a fact that China is by far the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, even more than twice the emissions of the USA. Given that, it is, at first sight, all the more surprising that China's recent official statements seem to be targeted to giving the impression, that it wants to be on the forefront of the fight against climate change, aggressively denouncing the USA as an obstacle on the way to climate neutrality. See for example, this media report.

On the other hand, China's economic actions have spoken a very different language in the recent past, which is very incongruent with the aforementioned virtue signalling on taking action against climate change.

With these facts in the background, it seems a little disturbing to me, that only one week after the Chinese statement, US president Biden proclaims Code Red on 'climate change' when visiting the hurricane Ida sites. Not that I want to deny climate change, or its severity, but from what I have read (see for example), even scientists that support the current climate change predictions say that it is impossible to attribute single catastrophic events to climate change because they have already happened in the past and it is only their increased frequency which can be attributed to climate change.

So, to me, the most interesting thing about the president's speech, besides using a catastrophic weather incident manipulatively, is that he mentions that "The nation and the world are in peril. That's not hyperbole. That is a fact". This sounds a little like a statement of the type "I did not have an intimate relationship with that woman, Miss Lewinski blink blink", i.e. a breakthrough of Biden's unconsciousness, a Freudian slip, credible only to those who are longing for the most convenient of versions of reality.

So, what if it is in fact 'hyperbole", and in addition to that, even a parable, meaning climate as a code for geopolitical relations or even peace. Why then would the president of the United States of America talk to his people in hardly disguised codes, if not out of a position of weakness?

If one looks at the first of the aforementioned links from this point of view, it seems pretty reasonable to me, that China tries to exploit the western fear of climate change, and, at the same time, tries to convey a secret, subconscious cold war doublespeak type message to the world, in which climate means peaceful coexistence with China, and climate change means that the USA have allegedly committed an act of war against China, which entitles them to strike back, one way or another, unless the USA and the rest of the world submit to China's rules.

One possible reading of such a message could be, that China will strike back by economically taking over key countries in the future, exploiting their fossil fuels, thereby effectively frustrating their hopes of slowing down climate change by carefully preserving their resources. That would seem reasonable given that "tiger China" is notorious for not making any serious efforts in the past to stop climate change, or the destruction of wildlife species.

Since I am not an expert of Chinese (official/diplomatic) communication, I ask if it is likely that the Chinese regime would deliberately communicate in such a codified way?

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  • September 11, 2021