'I was snubbed at Copenhagen' | world | Hindustan Times
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'I was snubbed at Copenhagen'

China suffered a diplomatic snub at the Copenhagen climate summit, Premier Wen Jiabao indicated on Sunday. The premier’s absence at a December 17 meeting of global leaders including US President Barack Obama was seen as a sign of rising China’s arrogance, reports HT Correspondent.

world Updated: Mar 15, 2010 00:26 IST
HT Correspondent

China suffered a diplomatic snub at the Copenhagen climate summit, Premier Wen Jiabao indicated on Sunday.

The premier’s absence at a December 17 meeting of global leaders including US President Barack Obama was seen as a sign of rising China’s arrogance. But Wen said the Chinese delegation wasn’t even formally invited to it. “Why was China not notified? We haven’t received any explanation until now. It’s still a mystery to me,” he said.

Speaking at length on the controversy for the first time, the premier said he heard about the meeting from a European leader at a banquet hosted by the Danish Queen. At the banquet, he saw China’s name on the participants list for a meeting to be held later that night. He asked his officials to check if China was invited. Vice-foreign minister He Yafei was sent to the meeting to register protest.

“I was shocked. I had received no notification that China was invited,’’ he said. “It still perplexes me why some people keep trying to make an issue about China,” he said. China was working closely with India, South Africa and Brazil at the summit.

A section of global negotiators had blamed China’s stance for the failure to reach a binding deal at Copenhagen. Wen, who spent 60 hours in Copenhagen, refuted the charges with an ancient Chinese proverb: “My conscience is clear despite others’ slander.”

Speaking at his annual media conference, Wen held the US responsible for damaging bilateral ties and rebuffed global pressure to let the Chinese currency appreciate. He did not name the US but made it clear that Beijing will not give in to ‘unhelpful finger-pointing’ on its currency policy.

The message was directed at Obama’s call for a ‘market-oriented’ yuan exchange rate. “I can understand some countries’ moves to raise exports. But what I cannot understand is that they devaluate their own currencies while pushing for the appreciation of other currencies,’’ Wen said, calling it protectionism.

Wen described 2010 as the Chinese economy’s most complicated year.

He countered that a stable yuan — which the US and European Union complain is artificially undervalued to benefit Chinese exporters — had aided global recovery during the recession.