Kerry: Protecting Planet ‘First and Foremost’ in Dealings with China, Not Human Rights, Life Is ‘Full of Tough Choices’

During an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry responded to a question on how the U.S. trades off human rights concerns with concerns about climate change with China by stating that “life is always full of tough choices” and “first and foremost, this planet must be protected.”

Host David Westin asked, “Another issue related to China is the importing of solar panels. Because, clearly, a priority of the Biden administration is really addressing climate. But it’s not the only priority. There are other things as well, such as the Uyghur situation in the west. What is the process by which one trades off climate against human rights?”

Kerry responded, “Well, life is always full of tough choices in the relationship between nations. Ronald Reagan thought the Soviet Union was the evil empire, and he continually directed a lot of energy at getting the Soviet Union to change. He then went to Reykjavik, met with Gorbachev, and decided together…you know what? This doesn’t make sense that we’re aiming 50,000 warheads at each other, that we’re always on the brink of potential conflict. And so, they turned that around. … But the point I’m making is that, even as there were egregious human rights issues, which Ronald Reagan called them out on, we have to find a way forward to make the world safer, to protect our countries, and act in our interests. We can do and must do the same thing now. Yes, we have issues, a number of different issues. But first and foremost, this planet must be protected. We all need to do that for our people.”

Kerry further stated that the hope is that if there is cooperation on climate with China, it could lead to cooperation on other issues.

(h/t Fox Business)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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