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China alleges diplomatic snub at Copenhagen summit

Last Updated: Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 13:08

Beijing: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he was snubbed at last year`s Copenhagen climate change conference and fired back on Sunday at critics who accuse China of arrogance.
China was blamed by some for undermining efforts to reach a binding agreement at the December conference and Wen was himself criticised for skipping a meeting of top leaders attended by President Barack Obama.

However, Wen says he was never formally notified of the late-night December 17 event and sent Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to register a protest. Wen said no explanation had been given about the lack of a formal invitation.

"Why was China not notified of this meeting? So far no one has given us any explanation about this and it still is a mystery," Wen said at an annual news conference on the final day of China`s legislative session.

"It still baffles me why some people try to make an issue out of China," he said.

Wen said China remained fully committed to the nonbinding Copenhagen Accord that requires developing countries to propose voluntary actions to combat climate change.

"China worked with other countries attending the Copenhagen conference, and with joint efforts we have made the Copenhagen Accord possible," Wen said.

"This result has not come easily and it is also the best outcome that could have been achieved on an issue that concerns the major interests of all countries," he said.

As the world`s largest emitter of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, China has come under increasing pressure to commit to reductions. Beijing said before Copenhagen it will cut its "carbon intensity" — a measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production — by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

The dustup over Wen`s Copenhagen appearance was part of a series of controversies portraying China as more aggressive and intransigent in its relations with the outside world. Having weathered the economic downturn better than many nations, Beijing is increasingly regarded as seeking to assert its influence and resist demands for reform.

During his 60 hours at Copenhagen, Wen held numerous meetings and speeches but made no remarks to the media, as is standard with Chinese leaders.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 13:08

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