Copenhagen Summit a Face-off Between US, China

Tensions flaring over whether China deserves international aid
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 11:31 AM CST
Copenhagen Summit a Face-off Between US, China
Journalists watch on a large screen the press conference by Su Wei, chief negotiator of China, on screen in center, on climate change, at the UN Climate summit in Copenhagen, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009.   (AP Photo/Heribert Proepper)

The Copenhagen talks are starting to look like an economic face-off between Washington and Beijing, with the US concerned by China’s growing footprint and China accusing the US of not living up to its responsibilities. Nearly half the growth in global greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years will come from China, according to the IEA, and the US says China no longer deserves international aid to help it clean up its act.

“It’s not fair. Whoever created the problem, they’re responsible,” said China’s vice foreign minister, accusing the US of shirking its emission-cutting duties. He argues that China still deserves the funds the Kyoto Protocol provides for developing nations to help foster clean growth. The US says that’s absurd. “I don’t envision public funds—certainly not from the United States—going to China,” says the top US negotiator. “There is no way to solve this problem by giving the major developing countries a pass.” (More China stories.)

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