Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang Answers Questions about United Nations Climate Change Conference
Q: The UN Climate Change Conference was just concluded. What is your comment on the conference? And what role did China play at the conference?
A: The Copenhagen Conference is an important opportunity for international cooperation on tackling climate change. Thanks to the joint efforts of all parties, the conference produced important and positive outcomes. First, the framework and principles established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, especially the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", were firmly upheld. Second, new steps were taken in relation to the mandatory emission reductions by developed countries and voluntary mitigation actions by developing countries. Third, broad consensus was reached on such focal issues as the global long-term target, financial and technological support, and transparency.
Premier Wen Jiabao attended the high-level session of the conference. This fully shows that the Chinese government has a strong sense of responsibility to the Chinese people, people of the world and the future of mankind. Premier Wen Jiabao delivered an important speech at the conference. He outlined comprehensively the Chinese government's position, views and measures on the issue of climate change. He also engaged in close contacts, communication and coordination with other parties. He called upon all sides to bear in mind the larger interest, strengthen confidence, respect each other and conduct equal consultations. He appealed to all to build consensus, seek common ground while reserving differences, and strive for achievements at the conference in line with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and the spirit of win-win cooperation. With sincerity, resolve and confidence, China made every effort and did all that was possible for the conference. It played an active and constructive role in pushing forward the conference along the right track, and made important contributions to solidifying and enhancing international cooperation on combating climate change.
Q: It was reported that the draft of the Copenhagen Accord was first agreed in private among the BASIC countries (China included) and the United States before it was submitted to the conference, and other countries, especially the small island states and least developed countries were not consulted. There was a lack of transparency. Was that true?
A: These comments do not square with facts. They are irresponsible and are made out of hidden motives.
China had always participated in the negotiations and consultations with a cooperative, responsible and constructive spirit, and maintained close communication and coordination with all parties. As a developing country, China firmly upheld the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", steadfastly defended the development right and interests of developing countries and unswervingly safeguarded the unity and coordination among developing countries. China had thorough, transparent and unimpeded communication with other developing countries. Based on full consultations with other developing countries and the Group of 77, the BASIC countries, which include China, India, South Africa and Brazil, jointly presented a draft text to the relevant parties at the very beginning of the conference. Premier Wen Jiabao had a long meeting with the leaders of some small island states, least developed countries and African countries in Copenhagen to listen to their opinions. He expressed full understanding and firm support for their legitimate demands, and stated that China would continue to support and help them to the best of its ability within the framework of South-South cooperation and through bilateral channels. China's position and propositions were widely supported and appreciated by other developing countries.
Q: Although the Copenhagen Conference produced results, some differences still exist. Where do you think the negotiations and related international cooperation will go next?
A: Tackling climate change is a long and arduous endeavor. The Copenhagen Conference is not an end, but a new beginning. All parties should continue to demonstrate political sincerity, stick to the principles enshrined in the Convention and the Protocol, follow the Bali Roadmap, and earnestly fulfill respective commitments and honor due obligations through unremitting efforts. China is committed to the path of sustainable development, and will work with the international community to make active contributions to the historical process of tackling climate change.