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China feared conspiracy at Copenhagen

Rich nations furthered their “conspiracy to divide the developing world” at December’s UN climate summit in Copenhagen, while Canada “connived” and the EU acted “to please the United States”, according to an internal document from a Chinese government thinktank obtained by the Guardian.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2010 00:46 IST

Rich nations furthered their “conspiracy to divide the developing world” at December’s UN climate summit in Copenhagen, while Canada “connived” and the EU acted “to please the United States”, according to an internal document from a Chinese government thinktank obtained by the Guardian.

The document, which was written in the immediate aftermath of Copenhagen but has only now come to light, provides the most candid insight yet into Chinese thinking on the fraught summit.

“It was unprecedented for a conference negotiating process to be so complicated, for the arguments to be so intense, for the disputes to be so wide and for progress to be so slow,” notes the special report. “There was criticism and praise from all sides, but future negotiations will be more difficult.” The authors — all members of a government environmental research institute — were not part of the Chinese negotiating team, but their paper was commissioned by the environment ministry and circulated internally to the minister, vice-ministers and department chiefs in the days after the conference. The ministry currently plays only a marginal role in climate policy making but many of the paper’s observations were echoed by China’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, in a recent speech given at Beijing University.

The authors were downbeat about the prospects for international talks and China’s position within them. “China, which was in the conference spotlight, played an active and constructive role, but was also under huge international pressure. It is predictable that our country will face a tougher challenge in future climate talks,” it says.