The recent meeting between Xi and Biden offers limited upside for China’s challenging position in deglobalisation. China needs to nurture the markets in developing economies to fulfil its ambitions in the energy transition. At the same time, the country will see increased trade barriers for new energy-related products from developed countries. Exporting energy-intensive products to developing or developed countries goes against China’s emission and economic growth targets. Is China better off investing in the energy-intensive sectors in developing economies?