Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, China Note, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about China. Subscribe to receive it by email every Wednesday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox.
Beginning Sunday, Oct. 31, world leaders will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for two weeks to unveil new commitments to tackle global warming and climate change. But after weeks of guessing games, it looks like Chinese President Xi Jinping—the leader of the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases—will only be attending the event remotely, with his physical absence set to cast a shadow over the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the upcoming event, was informed that Xi will not be showing up in person for the summit, The Times first reported last week. It has prompted concerns that Beijing might not be planning to announce any major environmental policy initiatives at the conference, as it was previously expected to do, amid a power crisis at home. “What we don’t know is what stance the Chinese are going to take,” an anonymous British source told the newspaper.