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U.S.-China Climate Agreement: Implications for National Security?

"Friendship and Cooperation Through Music." Collaboration between musicians from the US and Chinese Armies.

“Friendship and Cooperation Through Music.” Collaboration between musicians from the US and Chinese Armies.

The United States and China concluded a joint climate agreement yesterday. While the effect of this agreement on the rate and scale of climate change is potentially significant, it may also serve a broader geopolitical benefit as the United States gradually “rebalances” its foreign and security policy to the Asia-Pacific region, and pursues other national security interests in forums such as the UN Security Council.

Enduring tensions between China and the United States (and its allied and partner nations) over the South China Sea, as well as a broad range of other difficult dynamics in the relationship (e.g. cyber warfare, U.S. concerns over a growing and more assertive Chinese military, human rights, consistent disagreement at the UN Security Council, and competing proposals for free trade zones in the region, one that excludes China and the other that’s China-led), are likely to continue for some time to come. However, an agreement of this kind can spill over into other areas of the relationship, thereby broadening the aperture for U.S. cooperation (and competition) with China on a range of issues of core concern to U.S. national security.

In other words, this is not just a climate agreement. It’s also a trust-building exercise that may offer the United States a greater amount of freedom and flexibility in pursuing the national security goals of the US and its allied and partner nations.


  1. Vlad Fomin says:

    Indeed, adopted an agreement on joint actions of the US and China in the field of combating negative climate change – is historical. Moreover, even the primary surface and any assessment of prospects for cooperation between the US and China is optimistic. The special charm of the incident – in addition: an agreement on cooperation military musicians armies US and China. Well done! Congrats!

  2. Abrar says:

    Hoping that agreement would benefit other countries, and inspirers some countries to collaborate to deal with environmental issues.

  3. Rachael Schoonover says:

    Hopefully this agreement through care for climate will play as an example to other countries. Climate change effects the entire planet – the actions of one country has a multitude of effects on other countries. Natural resources and climates do not and will not ever oblige to political borders and instead of fighting over who is most responsible or who has done the most damage it is important to use climate and natural resources as a means of cooperation instead of conflict. There are many other countries that could follow the direction that U.S. and China could (optimistically) be going.

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