On the virtual stage of the United Nations General Assembly in September, President Xi Jinping made a bold commitment: China — the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions — would strive to become carbon neutral by 2060.
Going carbon neutral means that China would use clean energy sources and capture or offset any remaining emissions. By removing the same amount of carbon it’s emitting into the atmosphere, it would achieve “net-zero” carbon emissions.
But when Xi dropped the news at the UN, he offered few details on how exactly China would totally decarbonize in a matter of decades.
Now, a group of China’s top climate experts has come forward with a plan. In their study, released Monday, they suggest that China should peak its emissions over the next decade and then rapidly decrease them to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The researchers, who have the ear of China’s leaders, recommended that this path guide the country’s planning.
The recommendations come at a critical time: The country is currently finalizing its next five-year plan, which will steer economic development from March 2021 through 2025. Also, in the next few months, China is expected to join other countries in submitting updated climate goals to the United Nations under the Paris Agreement.
What’s more, the study shows that Xi Jinping’s UN speech was not just talk: Experts are laying the foundation to transform China’s economy and energy system. How that unfolds will have profound consequences for whether the planet limits catastrophic climate change. So here’s a look at how the new roadmap would change China, in the near term and over the coming decades.
China’s influential “national team” for climate change
This new study isn’t the first time researchers have sketched out a long-term decarbonization path for China, but what’s different this time is who is delivering the message.
Top brass are behind the research, including Xie Zhenhua, one of China’s senior climate officials, who supervised the project. Among the co-authors are researchers from over a dozen of China’s leading think tanks and research institutes, many of which are directly affiliated with government departments, including China’s economic planning body (the National Development and Reform Commission), the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the Ministry of Transportation.
“They are described in the climate circle as the ‘national team,’” said Li Shuo, a senior climate officer at Greenpeace East Asia, referring to the research coalition behind the report. Tsinghua University, where Xie Zhenhua runs a climate institute (ICCSD), has been central to China’s climate policy decision-making, he added. (While the research was just made public, it began in 2019 and was completed before Xi’s announcement.)
So the recommendations from this high-level group of experts are not merely academic. Because of who’s backing it, “it will be considered very closely by leaders, and very likely played an important role in supporting President Xi’s 2060 carbon neutrality announcement,” said Alvin Lin, climate and energy policy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing. (Disclosure: The author worked as a research fellow for NRDC in Beijing from 2016 to 2017.)
So what exactly does the study recommend and how might it influence China’s trajectory?
China’s road to net-zero emissions
The new study contains many significant recommendations; key among them is the timeline for China’s decarbonization.
When Xi Jinping announced the goal of carbon neutrality by 2060, it was broadly interpreted to refer to carbon dioxide, the main gas driving global warming, and not other greenhouse gases, like methane or nitrous oxide. But the researchers suggest otherwise, saying China should reach net-zero for all greenhouse gases by 2060, and net-zero for carbon dioxide by 2050.
In his presentation of the results on Monday, He Jiankun, a Tsinghua professor and climate expert who co-led the study, said his understanding is that Xi’s goal of “carbon neutrality” by 2060 was referring to all greenhouse gases. An expert source told China Dialogue that this interpretation shouldn’t be understood as the official government stance until it is further clarified. But if official, it would mean China would have to cut emissions more rapidly over the coming decades.
The research also shows what net-zero emissions might look like for the world’s top emitter. Under their net-zero emissions scenario, the researchers propose almost entirely replacing fossil fuels with clean energy in the electricity sector, leaving coal power at less than 5 percent of power generation — a massive drop from the almost 70 percent coal supplied in 2019.
But totally phasing out all fossil fuel consumption would be very difficult, particularly in the industrial sector where coal is used to produce steel, cement, and other materials at high heat. So, to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, China would cut these emissions from a projected peak of 10.5 billion tons to 1.7 billion tons by mid-century. To offset those remaining emissions, China would lean heavily on carbon sinks and negative emissions — methods of trapping and absorbing emissions.
The researchers suggest these emissions could be dealt with in a number of ways. Carbon would be captured at power plants and buried underground. Some power stations could reduce emissions by burning plants (which have themselves sequestered carbon growth) and burying the carbon dioxide released from the plant. The remaining half of emissions would be offset by planting trees (in itself a fraught approach to removing carbon from the atmosphere).
But relying on negative emissions is by no means a sure bet since many of the technologies have not yet been proven at scale. China does have a history of massive tree-planting campaigns, but it has only just started to develop facilities to capture carbon emissions from industry and power plants.
The study also doesn’t flesh out how China will get from net-zero carbon in 2050 to net-zero greenhouse gases in 2060, but it does vaguely refer to further use of carbon sinks and carbon dioxide removal technologies, such as removing carbon dioxide from the air (a process called direct air capture).
Will this plan help change China’s course over the next decade?
According to the plan, China’s radical decarbonization would not begin immediately.
The study laid out four decarbonization scenarios. The net-zero carbon scenario referred to above is called the 1.5 degrees Celsius scenario because it is in line with the global aim to keep global temperature rise below that level. Another scenario tracks the 2 degrees Celsius path, while two less ambitious scenarios are based on current policies and enhanced policies.
“Currently due to the inertia of the energy and economic systems, it is difficult to promptly carry out the 2 degrees Celsius and 1.5 degrees Celsius emissions reduction pathways,” He Jiankun said during his presentation.
Instead of immediately pursuing the most aggressive decarbonization path, the researchers recommend China take a less ambitious path until 2030, then quickly bring emissions in line with the 2 degrees Celsius and 1.5 degrees Celsius pathways. Following the 1.5 Celsius path, that would mean China would need to cut emissions by a breakneck pace of 8 to 10 percent a year, according to the study.
Would this approach just kick the can down the road? According to Chen Ji, a principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Beijing who has also studied China’s long-term decarbonization, this path doesn’t mean the researchers recommend putting off action until 2030. It means the coming decade would lay the groundwork for more rapid decarbonization.
“The rate of emissions reduction starting to increase after 2030 would actually be in response to China taking more forceful action from 2020 to 2030, but the result of these actions will be clearer after 2030,” he said.
However, some experts raised concerns about this approach. Even though the researchers think China could still get back on an emissions reduction path aligned with the Paris Agreement after 2030, leaving steeper emissions cuts until then will make decarbonization more challenging to pull off.
“Research on cost-optimized emissions reduction strategies suggests that a more linear path towards the 2060 target would be economically optimal (see e.g. IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees), not to mention more credible to the outside world,” wrote Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), in Carbon Brief.
Shifting gears on decarbonization after 2030 might lead China to build more carbon-intensive infrastructure like coal-fired power plants over the next decade, making emissions reduction more challenging in the future, Greenpeace’s Li Shuo said.
But the “inertia” He Jiankun referred to is a real barrier for China to overcome in the coming years. For instance, China’s power sector still privileges coal over renewables by allocating hours to coal plants annually rather than allowing renewable energy to compete with coal plants in real time. Reforms to this system, which are underway, would help to boost renewable energy growth in the future.
Other challenges in the near term include developing a green hydrogen industry to replace fossil fuel use for heavy industry and transportation, according to Chen Ji. Helping millions of workers transition out of the coal, steel, and cement industries is also a looming quandary for China.
What to watch for in the coming year
Although this new study has strong backing from people with connections to the highest levels of government, its place in China’s official plans will be clearer when China submits its “mid-century strategy,” a document that all signatories of the Paris Agreement are requested to complete by the end of 2020 to chart out long-term decarbonization. (China is expected to release this document sometime in the next few months.)
As for more immediate decision-making, the study authors also recommend that China upgrade its climate and energy targets under the Paris Agreement and in its five-year plan. China’s carbon emissions are still growing — last year saw a 2 percent increase — so the authors advise that the next five-year plan set a hard cap on carbon emissions at 10.5 billion tons. As for setting new Paris Agreement targets this year, one key recommendation is to up the 2030 target from 20 percent non-fossil fuel energy generation to 25 percent to speed China’s renewable energy build-out.
Whether China adopts these upgraded targets in the coming months will be a first real indication of how and when the country plans to get to net zero.
Millions turn to Vox each month to understand what’s happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial reckoning to what is, quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone make sense of an increasingly chaotic world: Contribute today from as little as $3.
All the products we found to be the best during our testing this year
Throughout the year, CNN Underscored is constantly testing products — be it coffee makers or headphones — to find the absolute best in each respective category.
Our testing process is rigorous, consisting of hours of research (consulting experts, reading editorial reviews and perusing user ratings) to find the top products in each category. Once we settle on a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting each product multiple times in real-world settings. All this in an effort to settle on the absolute best products.
So, as we enter peak gifting season, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift, we know you’ll find something on this list that they (or you!) will absolutely love.
Beginner baristas and coffee connoisseurs alike will be pleased with the Baratza Virtuoso+, a conical burr grinder with 40 settings for grind size, from super fine (espresso) to super coarse (French press). The best coffee grinder we tested, this sleek look and simple, intuitive controls, including a digital timer, allow for a consistent grind every time — as well as optimal convenience.
Best drip coffee maker: Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker ($79.95; amazon.com)
During our testing of drip coffee makers, we found the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker made a consistently delicious, hot cup of coffee, brewed efficiently and cleanly, from sleek, relatively compact hardware that is turnkey to operate, and all for a reasonable price.
Best single-serve coffee maker: Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus ($165; originally $179.95; amazon.com)
Among all single-serve coffee makers we tested, the Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus, which uses pods that deliver both espresso and “regular” coffee, could simply not be beat for its convenience. Intuitive and a snap to use right out of the box, it looks sleek on the counter, contains a detached 60-ounce water reservoir so you don’t have to refill it with each use and delivers perfectly hot, delicious coffee with a simple tap of a lever and press of a button.
Best coffee subscription: Blue Bottle (starting at $11 per shipment; bluebottlecoffee.com)
Blue Bottle’s coffee subscription won us over with its balance of variety, customizability and, most importantly, taste. We sampled both the single-origin and blend assortments and loved the flavor of nearly every single cup we made. The flavors are complex and bold but unmistakably delicious. Beyond its coffee, Blue Bottle’s subscription is simple and easy to use, with tons of options to tailor to your caffeine needs.
Best cold brewer coffee maker: Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot ($25; amazon.com)
This sleek, sophisticated and streamlined carafe produces 1 liter (about 4 1/4 cups) of rich, robust brew in just eight hours. It was among the simplest to assemble, it executed an exemplary brew in about the shortest time span, and it looked snazzy doing it. Plus, it rang up as the second-most affordable of our inventory.
Best nonstick pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid ($39.97; amazon.com)
If you’re a minimalist and prefer to have just a single pan in your kitchen, you’d be set with the T-fal E76597. This pan’s depth gives it multipurpose functionality: It cooks standard frying-pan foods like eggs and meats, and its 2 1/2-inch sides are tall enough to prepare recipes you’d usually reserve for pots, like rices and stews. It’s a high-quality and affordable pan that outperformed some of the more expensive ones in our testing field.
Best blender: Breville Super Q ($499.95; breville.com)
With 1,800 watts of motor power, the Breville Super Q features a slew of preset buttons, comes in multiple colors, includes key accessories and is touted for being quieter than other models. At $500, it does carry a steep price tag, but for those who can’t imagine a smoothie-less morning, what breaks down to about $1.30 a day over a year seems like a bargain.
Best knife set: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set ($119.74; amazon.com)
The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set sets you up to easily take on almost any cutting job and is a heck of a steal at just $119.97. Not only did the core knives included (chef’s, paring, utility and serrated) perform admirably, but the set included a bevy of extras, including a full set of steak knives. We were blown away by their solid construction and reliable execution for such an incredible value. The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we were big fans of the cushion-grip handles that kept them from slipping, as well as the classic look of the chestnut-stained wood block. If you’re looking for a complete knife set you’ll be proud of at a price that won’t put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.
Best true wireless earbuds: AirPods Pro ($199, originally $249; amazon.com)
Apple’s AirPods Pro hit all the marks. They deliver a wide soundstage, thanks to on-the-fly equalizing tech that produces playback that seemingly brings you inside the studio with the artist. They have the best noise-canceling ability of all the earbuds we tested, which, aside from stiff-arming distractions, creates a truly immersive experience. To sum it up, you’re getting a comfortable design, a wide soundstage, easy connectivity and long battery life.
Best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 ($278, originally $349.99; amazon.com)
Not only do the WH-1000XM4s boast class-leading sound, but phenomenal noise-canceling ability. So much so that they ousted our former top overall pick, the Beats Solo Pros, in terms of ANC quality, as the over-ear XM4s better seal the ear from outside noise. Whether it was a noise from a dryer, loud neighbors down the hall or high-pitched sirens, the XM4s proved impenetrable. This is a feat that other headphones, notably the Solo Pros, could not compete with — which is to be expected considering their $348 price tag.
Best on-ear headphones: Beats Solo 3 ($119.95, originally $199.95; amazon.com)
The Beats Solo 3s are a phenomenal pair of on-ear headphones. Their sound quality was among the top of those we tested, pumping out particularly clear vocals and instrumentals alike. We enjoyed the control scheme too, taking the form of buttons in a circular configuration that blend seamlessly into the left ear cup design. They are also light, comfortable and are no slouch in the looks department — more than you’d expect given their reasonable $199.95 price tag.
The Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has thousands of 5-star ratings across the internet, and it’s easy to see why. True to its name, this product clings to your lips for hours upon hours, burritos and messy breakfast sandwiches be damned. It’s also surprisingly moisturizing for such a superior stay-put formula, a combo that’s rare to come by.
The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a longtime customer favorite — hence its nearly 7,500 5-star reviews on Sephora — and for good reason. We found it requires little to no effort to create a precise wing, the liner has superior staying power and it didn’t irritate those of us with sensitive skin after full days of wear. As an added bonus, it’s available in a whopping 12 shades.
The Steelcase Series 1 scored among the highest overall, standing out as one of the most customizable, high-quality, comfortable office chairs on the market. At $415, the Steelcase Series 1 beat out most of its pricier competitors across testing categories, scoring less than a single point lower than our highest-rated chair, the $1,036 Steelcase Leap, easily making it the best bang for the buck and a clear winner for our best office chair overall.
Best ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo K860 ($129.99; logitech.com)
We found the Logitech Ergo K860 to be a phenomenally comfortable keyboard. Its build, featuring a split keyboard (meaning there’s a triangular gap down the middle) coupled with a wave-like curvature across the body, allows both your shoulders and hands to rest in a more natural position that eases the tension that can often accompany hours spent in front of a regular keyboard. Add the cozy palm rest along the bottom edge and you’ll find yourself sitting pretty comfortably.
Best ergonomic mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 ($99.99; logitech.com)
The Logitech MX Master 3 is an unequivocally comfortable mouse. It’s shaped to perfection, with special attention to the fingers that do the clicking. Using it felt like our fingers were lounging — with a sculpted ergonomic groove for nearly every finger.
Best ring light: Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($25.99; amazon.com)
The Emart 10-Inch Standing Ring Light comes with a tripod that’s fully adjustable — from 19 inches to 50 inches — making it a great option whether you’re setting it atop your desk for video calls or need some overhead lighting so no weird shadows creep into your photos. Its three light modes (warm, cool and a nice mix of the two), along with 11 brightness levels (among the most settings on any of the lights we tested), ensure you’re always framed in the right light. And at a relatively cheap $35.40, this light combines usability and affordability better than any of the other options we tested.
Best linen sheets: Parachute Linen Sheet Set (starting at $149; parachute.com)
Well made, luxurious to the touch and with the most versatile shopping options (six sizes, nine colors and the ability to order individual sheets), the linen sheets from Parachute were, by a narrow margin, our favorite set. From the satisfying unboxing to a sumptuous sleep, with a la carte availability, Parachute set the gold standard in linen luxury.
Best shower head: Kohler Forte Shower Head (starting at $74.44; amazon.com)
Hands down, the Kohler Forte Shower Head provides the best overall shower experience, offering three distinct settings. Backstory: Lots of shower heads out there feature myriad “settings” that, when tested, are pretty much indecipherable. The Forte’s three sprays, however, are each incredibly different and equally successful. There’s the drenching, full-coverage rain shower, the pulsating massage and the “silk spray” setting that is basically a super-dense mist. The Forte manages to achieve all of this while using only 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM), making it a great option for those looking to conserve water.
Best humidifier: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier (starting at $49.99; amazon.com)
The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier ramped up the humidity in a room in about an hour, which was quicker than most of the options we tested. More importantly, though, it sustained those humidity levels over the longest period of time — 24 hours, to be exact. The levels were easy to check with the built-in reader (and we cross-checked that reading with an external reader to confirm accuracy). We also loved how easy this humidifier was to clean, and the nighttime mode for the LED reader eliminated any bright lights in the bedroom.
Best TV: TCL 6-Series (starting at $579.99; bestbuy.com)
With models starting at $599.99 for a 55-inch, the TCL 6-Series might give you reverse sticker shock considering everything you get for that relatively small price tag. But can a 4K smart TV with so many specification standards really deliver a good picture for $500? The short answer: a resounding yes. The TCL 6-Series produces a vibrant picture with flexible customization options and handles both HDR and Dolby Vision, optimization standards that improve the content you’re watching by adding depth to details and expanding the color spectrum.
Best streaming device: Roku Ultra ($99.99; amazon.com)
Roku recently updated its Ultra streaming box and the 2020 version is faster, thanks to a new quad-core processor. The newest Ultra retains all of the features we loved and enjoyed about the 2019 model, like almost zero lag time between waking it up and streaming content, leading to a hiccup-free streaming experience. On top of that, the Roku Ultra can upscale content to deliver the best picture possible on your TV — even on older-model TVs that don’t offer the latest and greatest picture quality — and supports everything from HD to 4K.
Best carry-on luggage: Away Carry-On ($225; away.com)
The Away Carry-On scored high marks across all our tests and has the best combination of features for the average traveler. Compared with higher-end brands like Rimowa, which retail for hundreds more, you’re getting the same durable materials, an excellent internal compression system and eye-catching style. Add in smart charging capabilities and a lifetime warranty, and this was the bag to beat.
Best portable charger: Anker PowerCore 13000 (starting at $31.99; amazon.com)
The Anker PowerCore 13000 shone most was in terms of charging capacity. It boasts 13,000 mAh (maH is a measure of how much power a device puts out over time), which is enough to fully charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times. Plus, it has two fast-charging USB Type-A ports so you can juice a pair of devices simultaneously. While not at the peak in terms of charging capacity, at just $31.99, it’s a serious bargain for so many mAhs.
Trump’s misleading tweet about changing your vote, briefly explained
Searches for changing one’s vote did not trend following the recent presidential debate, and just a few states appear to have processes for changing an early vote. But that didn’t stop President Trump from wrongly saying otherwise on Tuesday.
In early morning posts, the president falsely claimed on Twitter and Facebook that many people had Googled “Can I change my vote?” after the second presidential debate and said those searching wanted to change their vote over to him. Trump also wrongly claimed that most states have a mechanism for changing one’s vote. Actually, just a few states appear to have the ability, and it’s rarely used.
Trump’s claim about what was trending on Google after the debate doesn’t hold up. Searches for changing one’s vote were not among Google’s top trending searches for the day of the debate (October 22) or the day after. Searches for “Can I change my vote?” did increase slightly around the time of the debate, but there is no way to know whether the bump was related to the debate or whether the people searching were doing so in support of Trump.
It was only after Trump’s posts that searches about changing your vote spiked significantly. It’s worth noting that people were also searching for “Can I change my vote?” during a similar period before the 2016 presidential election.
Google declined to comment on the accuracy of Trump’s post.
Trump also claimed that these results indicate that most of the people who were searching for how to change their vote support him. But the Google Trends tool for the searches he mentioned does not provide that specific information.
Perhaps the most egregiously false claim in Trump’s recent posts is about “most states” having processes for changing your early vote. In fact, only a few states have such processes, and they can come with certain conditions. For instance, in Michigan, voters who vote absentee can ask for a new ballot by mail or in person until the day before the election.
The Center for Election Innovation’s David Becker told the Associated Press that changing one’s vote is “extremely rare.” Becker explained, “It’s hard enough to get people to vote once — it’s highly unlikely anybody will go through this process twice.”
At the time of publication, Trump’s false claims had drawn about 84,000 and 187,000 “Likes” on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Trump’s posts accelerated searches about changing your vote in places like the swing state of Florida, where changing one’s vote after casting it is not possible. Those numbers are a reminder of the president’s capacity to spread misinformation quickly.
On Facebook, the president’s post came with a label directing people to Facebook’s Voting Information Center, but no fact-checking label. Twitter had no annotation on the president’s post. Neither company responded to a request for comment.
That Trump is willing to spread misinformation to benefit himself and his campaign isn’t a surprise. He does that a lot. Still, just days before a presidential election in which millions have already voted, this latest episode demonstrates that the president has no qualms about using false claims about voting to cause confusion and sow doubt in the electoral process.
Open Sourced is made possible by Omidyar Network. All Open Sourced content is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.
The United States is in the middle of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes. It’s essential that all Americans are able to access clear, concise information on what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. That is our mission at Vox. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone understand this presidential election: Contribute today from as little as $3.
Nearly 6,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan so far this year
From January to September, 5,939 civilians – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded – were casualties of the fighting, the UN says.
Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of the year as heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban fighters rages on despite efforts to find peace, the United Nations has said.
From January to September, there were 5,939 civilian casualties in the fighting – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a quarterly report on Tuesday.
“High levels of violence continue with a devastating impact on civilians, with Afghanistan remaining among the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian,” the report said.
Civilian casualties were 30 percent lower than in the same period last year but UNAMA said violence has failed to slow since the beginning of talks between government negotiators and the Taliban that began in Qatar’s capital, Doha, last month.
The Taliban was responsible for 45 percent of civilian casualties while government troops caused 23 percent, it said. United States-led international forces were responsible for two percent.
Most of the remainder occurred in crossfire, or were caused by ISIL (ISIS) or “undetermined” anti-government or pro-government elements, according to the report.
Ground fighting caused the most casualties followed by suicide and roadside bomb attacks, targeted killings by the Taliban and air raids by Afghan troops, the UN mission said.
Fighting has sharply increased in several parts of the country in recent weeks as government negotiators and the Taliban have failed to make progress in the peace talks.
The Taliban has been fighting the Afghan government since it was toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.
Washington blamed the then-Taliban rulers for harbouring al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda was accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.
Calls for urgent reduction of violence
Meanwhile, the US envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Tuesday that the level of violence in the country was still too high and the Kabul government and Taliban fighters must work harder towards forging a ceasefire at the Doha talks.
Khalilzad made the comments before heading to the Qatari capital to hold meetings with the two sides.
“I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever,” he said in a tweet.
There needs to be “an agreement on a reduction of violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”, added Khalilzad.
1/4 I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever. https://t.co/hVl4b032W6
— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) October 27, 2020
A deal in February between the US and the Taliban paved the way for foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to sit with the Afghan government to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula.
But progress at the intra-Afghan talks has been slow since their start in mid-September and diplomats and officials have warned that rising violence back home is sapping trust.
Toronto FC hoping to make MLS Cup run having spent much of 2020 far from home
Bettman: NHL is mulling temporary realignment
Serie A leader Milan is one of Europe’s hottest teams. Is its form sustainable?
Astros bash way past Athletics to reach ALCS
Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum
Toronto FC hoping to make MLS Cup run having spent much of 2020 far from home
Sports2 months ago
Astros bash way past Athletics to reach ALCS
Tech3 weeks ago
Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum
Sports2 weeks ago
Toronto FC hoping to make MLS Cup run having spent much of 2020 far from home
Tech3 months ago
Check out some wonderful Playdate game demos, including a low-fi Doom
Food2 months ago
Puerto Rican Piñon
Tech4 months ago
Still no first stimulus check? How to track it and report your absent payment to the IRS – CNET
Tech4 months ago
Spotify Duo vs. Family vs. Individual: Which Premium Spotify plan is best? – CNET
Science3 months ago
Elon Musk promises demo of a working Neuralink device on Friday