[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/25/iran.diplomacy.obama/art.obamag20china.gi.jpg caption="President Obama will visit China next week"]
Special to CNN
When President Obama visits China next week, global climate change will top the agenda. The stakes could hardly be higher - for the two Pacific powers and for the world.
Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao have a chance to make a good-faith start at the kind of cooperation the rest of the world might rally around at the global climate summit next month in Copenhagen.
In September, I visited China, where my organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council, has been active for nearly 15 years. I was able to see firsthand the efforts the Chinese were undertaking to harness their clean-energy potential.
I toured the green Olympic Village in Beijing, attended a clean tech conference in Shanghai and met with China's top climate negotiator, Minister Xie Zhenhua.
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