China Tuesday urged developed countries to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to deal with the challenge of climate change, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news conference Tuesday in Beijing.
"We believe developed countries have the capacity and responsibility to play a bigger role in dealing with climate change and should take the lead on the reduction of gas emissions," said Jiang.
In a meeting with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe meeting of foreign ministers in Germany on Monday, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner stressed the need for China to do more to combat climate change.
Global warming is high on the agenda of the upcoming Group of Eight (G8) Summit, which is to take place in Heiligendamm, Germany, next week. President Hu Jintao will attend the outreach session of the annual summit.
"China, India and other developing countries are victims of the effects of climate change," Jiang said.
China's per capita gas emissions are less than one-third of that in developed countries, but "we have taken a positive attitude and attach importance to the issue and have taken effective means to reduce the impact of climate change," she added.
The Chinese government has set a goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent by 2010, while pollutant discharge should drop by 10 percent.
As a developing country, China is not obliged to meet targets set by the Kyoto Protocol, under which most industrialized countries are required to reduce their gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below the 1990 levels, during the period from 2008 to 2012.
The keys to dealing with climate change are how the world implements the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol and holding international negotiations to reduce gas emissions on the basis of the "shared but different responsibilities", Jiang said.
China is ready to go along with the international community to actively seek approaches to dealing with the impact of climate change under the framework of sustainable development, she said.
The UN conference on climate change kicked off on Monday, with participating parties exploring an international framework to deal with the issue of global warming after 2012.
"We hope the climate change talks, which based on the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities' in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will achieve 'substaintial progress' before 2009," Jiang said.
Referring to a question about former Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui's planned visit to Japan, which is due to start today, Jiang said the Chinese side had made "solemn representations" to Japan.
"We strongly demand Japan attach importance to China's serious concern ... and not provide political stages to Taiwan independence forces," she said.
However, Japanese government officials said on Monday that Lee's visit to Tokyo was a tourist trip only and should not impact Japan's relations with China.
Lee's words and deeds in past decades marked him as a secessionist, said Jiang, urging Japan not to "provide a political arena for pro-independence separatist forces in Taiwan".
Japan should fulfill its promise on the Taiwan issue through its actions, said Jiang.
Jiang welcomed a move last week by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to resume China's rights as a member state, while allowing Taiwan to take part in the organization's activities as a non-sovereign region under the name of "Chinese Taipei".
"An overwhelming majority of the OIE members voted for the resolution. This shows that the international community at large supports the one-China policy," she said.
Jiang said the Chinese central government supported the development of the island's health sector, adding that the government would continue to strengthen cooperation across the Taiwan straits on animal health.
Jiang told reporters that Christopher Hill, the US representative to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, would arrive in Beijing today.
Hill was expected to discuss China-US relations and the international talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programs with his Chinese counterpart, Jiang said.
The talks have stalled since February over a financial dispute involving funds that have been frozen at a Macau bank.
In another development, Jiang announced that Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend a foreign ministers' meeting among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on June 3 in ROK's Chejudo, and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) 6th foreign ministers' meeting, to be held from June 4 to 5 in Seoul, ROK's capital.
Yang is invited to the meetings by ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Song Min Soon, said Jiang.
Indonesian Vice President Yusuf Kalla will pay an official visit to China from June 6 to 10 at the invitation of Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong.
(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2007)