China envoy urges climate cooperation with Japan

Updated: 2007-06-11 22:27

TOKYO - China's ambassador to Japan urged on Monday that the two Asian giants cooperate on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Kyodo news agency reported.

Wang Yi's comments came after Group of Eight countries agreed last week to make "substantial" cuts in emissions but fell short of European hopes of a deal to seek reductions of 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Major developing nations including China and India pledged to do an unspecified "fair share" to fight climate change.

"It is not an issue of friction between Japan and China, and I'm determined that it will instead become a big knot tying the two nations together," Kyodo quoted Wang as saying in a speech at a party held by one of the factions in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Wang praised Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's proposal for setting a global target of halving emissions from current levels by 2050, an initiative that echoed the European proposal.

Wang said he agreed with Abe's view that efforts to cut emissions should be balanced with economic development, Kyodo added.

Developing nations say rich nations have to lead the way in the fight against global warming, having been the main source of emissions since the Industrial Revolution.

Wang also underscored his commitment to improving Sino-Japanese ties, just days after a visit by former Taiwan "president" Lee Teng-hui to Japan threatened to damage relations, which have warmed since Abe took office last September.

"While problems sometimes arise with the blowing of a cold wind, spring will certainly come," Wang was quoted as saying.

During his stay in Japan, the 84-year-old Lee visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, seen by many in China and elsewhere in Asia as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

China had expressed dissatisfaction with Japan for allowing Lee's 11-day visit, but on Friday the leaders of the two countries stressed their friendly ties at bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit at Heiligendamm, Germany.

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