India bailed out China from isolation during the Copenhagen climate talks and saved it from getting ambushed by the US and EU which wanted it to sign an agreement on verification of emission levels much against its wishes, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday.
"Chinese leaders continue to harp on Copenhagen spirit because we were critical to China during the climate
negotiations. At the Copenhagen talks Chinese in their heart of hearts know we saved them from isolation," Ramesh, who is on a visit in Beijing, said addressing the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.
Asked how India was critical to China for a sustained relationship, he said New Delhi had not yet reached a stage
where it was critical to Beijing. But the Chinese leaders were well aware of benefits of friendship with India as established during the last year's climate negotiations.
During the climate talks, both the US and EU countries were determined to ambush China and get it sign a legally
binding treaty, the minister said.
"The strategy of the most of the countries was to ambush China because it is the largest emitter of green house
gases," amounting to 23 per cent of the global emissions, he said.
The US has not ratified Kyoto Protocol saying that they would not do unless the Chinese do so.
The strategy, Ramesh said, was to get China sign on "some international agreement to give legal status" but "it did not
"Given our English skills and our more cussedness in negotiating skills we bailed the Chinese out of many a
difficult situations. Chinese know India was absolutely essential for the fact that China did not get isolated at
Copenhagen," he said, adding that but for the agreement which was signed by BASIC along with US President Barrack Obama, Washington would have launched a tirade against Beijing for scuttling climate talks.
"Had the agreement with Obama was not signed he would have gone back to the US and painted China a villain of peace. The fact that he signed (accord), it gave Chinese a way out. They realised that," he said.
Ramesh also refuted allegations by European commentators that India and China scuttled Copenhagen talks. He said
developing countries like India and China could have never signed a binding agreement without firm binding commitment
from developed countries.
Part of the frustration of the Europeans was that they were completely bypassed by Obama and BASIC -- Brazil, South
Africa, India and China -- during the climate talks, he said.