Government and Policy

Premier Wen's 60 hours in Copenhagen

(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-26 09:34
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The Chinese premier's meeting with representatives of island countries and underdeveloped nations lasted for over two hours, the longest during his stay in Copenhagen.

Wen said although China had always urged developed nations to fulfill their funding commitments, China would not vie for even a cent with other developing countries if such a fund were available.

In addition, China would continue to assist those countries to cope with climate change, Wen told President of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed, Prime Minister of Grenada Tillman Thomas, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Sudanese Presidential Assistant Nafie Ali Nafie.

Wen's whirlwind negotiations that afternoon involved British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The three industrialized countries, though ambitious in leading international cooperation on climate change issues, lacked understanding of developing countries and had therefore raised some unrealistic and unfair requests.

Once again, Wen urged all parties to stop pointing fingers at each other or bargaining at the critical moment of the talks. He said China's commitment on mitigation actions is "unconditional and non-negotiable". It was not conditioned on or linked with commitments by any other country, Wen said.

On the transparency issue in self mitigation actions, Wen said China was willing to conduct talks and cooperation.

He stressed that developing countries' major tasks in eradicating poverty and developing economy should not compromise the environment. But their development also required the developed world's understanding and support, both financially and in technology.

After the meetings, Wen immediately instructed Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei to hold a press conference to brief the world media on the talks, a move to fulfill his commitment to transparency.

Mysterious meeting

At a banquet hosted by Danish Queen Margrethe II on Dec 17 evening, Premier Wen was told that the United States would hold a small-scope meeting between several countries' leaders after the dinner.

During his talk with a foreign leader, Premier Wen learnt China was on the list of the meeting's participating countries while he himself was not invited and neither did the Chinese delegation receive a notice for the mysterious meeting.

Why was the Chinese delegation not informed? Premier Wen felt quite astonished and was vigilant after he confirmed the meeting with other foreign leaders.

During the conference, similar situations occurred when some countries proposed a draft resolution through clandestine negotiations, which went against the principle of openness and transparency and triggered strong discontent.

Premier Wen took the incident seriously and came back to his hotel immediately to call an emergency meeting to study countermeasures for the situation.

On behalf of the Chinese delegation, Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei came to the meeting and expressed strong dissatisfaction to the convocator's ulterior motive for not informing China.

He said that the meeting should be transparent and no participants should impose their will on others. Any scheme in darkness would probably lead to a fruitless summit.