Wandering China

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China rejects UK claims it hindered Copenhagen talks


Highlight – “Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu did not mention Mr Miliband by name, but in comments reported by the Xinhua state news agency, she said statements from “certain British politicians” were “plainly a political scheme“.

China rejects UK claims it hindered Copenhagen talks
Source – BBC News, 22 December 2009

China has dismissed allegations made by a British minister that it was responsible for the near collapse of climate negotiations in Copenhagen.

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband had singled out China for vetoing an agreement on limiting emissions.

Beijing said his comments were part of a political scheme to “provoke discord among developing countries”.

The Copenhagen summit ended without the 192 countries present reaching a firm agreement on climate change.

The delegates simply committed to “taking note” of a deal recognising the need to limit temperature rises to 2C.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu did not mention Mr Miliband by name, but in comments reported by the Xinhua state news agency, she said statements from “certain British politicians” were “plainly a political scheme”.

The aim, she said, was “to shirk responsibilities that should be assumed towards developing countries, and to provoke discord among developing countries”.

“This scheme will come to nothing,” said Ms Jiang.

‘New beginning’

Writing in Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Sunday, Mr Miliband said the vast majority of countries wanted a legally-binding treaty to protect the planet but it appeared four or five countries at the summit had been keen to “shelve the accord”.

He said China had vetoed two proposed agreements on emissions cuts, “despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries”.

Ms Jiang said Mr Milband and others behind the editorial should “correct their mistakes, fulfil their obligations to developing countries in an earnest way, and stay away from activities that hinder the international community’s cooperation in coping with climate change”.

The BBC’s Michael Bristow in Beijing says China believes it went to the talks in good faith and offering significant proposals, so does not want to be seen to be the cause of the failure to reach a more solid agreement.

On Monday, China’s Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, praised the summit, saying it had been “not a destination but a new beginning”.

The final accord was reached between the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, but is not legally binding.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the agreement must be made legally binding next year.

Filed under: BBC, Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, International Relations

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