November 22, 2002

China Strongly Opposes Junking of Kyoto Protocol

China on Sunday voiced its strong opposition to any attempt to junk the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change, vowing to "work untiringly" for the early enforcement of the document.

"China strongly opposes any attempt to abandon the Kyoto Protocol and start all over again," Li Xiuhua, an official from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told the ongoing 40th annual session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) here on Sunday.

With 45 member states, the AALCO is a key inter-governmental forum for discussing from the legal perspective issues of common concerns in the region. Some 120 officials and international law experts from 34 countries, including a 6-member Chinese delegation, participated in the current session, which covered a wide range of topics including environment and development.

Focusing on the challenge of climate change, Li said that the international community had "achieved great successes" in addressing this issue by adopting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

However, while the international community is making efforts to bring the Protocol into force, "some developed country" has refused to ratify it on the excuse that the developing countries have not undertaken the emission reduction commitments, Li noted.

"This position obviously runs counter to the basic principles of the UN Convention, and will definitely ruin the international efforts to address climate change," she asserted.

Urging all countries to "follow firmly the principles and objectives established by the UN Convention", Li promised that China would "continue to work untiringly" with the rest of the world for the early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Chinese official went on to say that since the UN Convention came into force, developing countries including China had taken various measures within their capacity to check climate change and had made great contributions to the cause.

However, she added that "we have noticed with concern that the gap, in terms of both wealth and science and technology, between South and North is becoming even wider, which seriously restricts the capacity of developing countries to respond to climate change".

Therefore, she said, it was imperative for the developed countries to carry out "sincere cooperation" with developing countries, take "concrete action" in funding and technology transfer to assist the latter, and fulfill their duties written in the UN Convention.

(xinhua 06/24/2001)

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