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China opposes carbon tariffs on imported products
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A proposal for charging carbon tariffs towards imported products will breach the rules of the World Trade Organization and the spirit of Kyoto Protocol, Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), said in Beijing on Friday.

Imposing carbon tariffs on foreign products will allow developed countries to conduct trade protection in the name of protecting the environment, said Yao in a statement posted on the website of the MOC Friday.

The concept of "carbon tariffs", initially proposed by former French President Jacques Chirac, has been echoed by the United States, Canada and the European Union. They proposed raising duties from countries that are not cutting greenhouse gases according to the Kyoto Protocol.

The MOC said the proposals would seriously hurt the interests of developing countries and trigger disputes in international trade.

China has been holding a positive attitude and acting actively in dealing with climate change. The government issued the National Climate Change Program in 2007, the first national plan working out the strategies and measures to tackle climate change, and it has also participated actively in international climate change negotiations, according to the spokesman.

A new protocol aims to prevent global warming and climate change is expected to be reached in Copenhagen by the end of this year to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012.

China would like to maintain the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" among developed and developing countries, actively participate in negotiations and play a constructive role to promote positive results from the conference, said Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, while meeting with U.S. special envoy for climate change Todd Stern on June 8.

(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2009)

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