China vows to continue with Paris Accord even if US pulls out

02 June, 2017, 02:03 | Author: Gregory Stephens

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) yesterday said the world's No. 1 polluter will stick to its pledges to tackle global warming, underscoring the risk of US isolation if US President Donald Trump pulls out of the Paris climate accord.

He added: "Fighting climate change is a global consensus, it's not invented by China... and we realise that this is a global consensus agreement and that as a big developing nation we should shoulder our worldwide responsibility".

When it comes to the European integration process, Mr Li said as a comprehensive strategic partner of the EU, China is glad to see a cohesive, prosperous and stable Europe.

"Please don't change the (political) climate for the worse", European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.

"China will continue to implement promises made in the Paris Agreement, to move towards the 2030 goal step by step steadfastly", Li said in a Berlin joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Thursday that climate change is a "global challenge" no country can ignore.


EU officials say they will bring up the South China Sea in the talks on Friday, but they will be wary to avoid a repeat of last year's tense EU-China summit in Beijing, which failed to agree a joint statement because of the maritime issue. "At a moment in which the United States have doubts about the benefits of remaining in the Paris agreement ... two major players in the climate arena declare that they are committed to the Paris agreement", he said of the European Union and China.

Later on Thursday, Li will travel to Brussels for the annual EU-China summit, where he will meet top EU officials to discuss issues including trade, greenhouse gas emissions and North Korea's missile tests.

However, thorny issues remain between the two exporting nations, with Ms Merkel saying she had pressed China to open up its market more to German firms who want a level playing field.

Chinese Premier Li praised enhanced ties with Germany, and said they had common views on many issues, including respect for worldwide law and opposition to unilateralism. Merkel has been trying to play down any notions that she plans to pivot away from the USA in the wake of an impasse on climate change and towards other powers.

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