China to 'do its best' at climate talks: top official

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By AFP

China will do its best to ensure the success of international talks on a new climate change pact in December, the nation's top negotiator on the issue said Monday, according to state media.

China will "do its best with utmost sincerity" at talks in Copenhagen to push for a new treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012, Xie Zhenhua told legislators in Beijing.

"Talks with developing countries should be strengthened to safeguard our common interests," Xie, who will represent China in Copenhagen, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

Xie, who is also vice minister at the National Development and Reform Commission, said China would maintain dialogue with developed countries to "enhance common ground while reducing differences".

China is competing with the United States for the rank of world's top emitter of greenhouse gases -- a position that has made it a focus of attention ahead of the Copenhagen talks.

Xie was speaking on the first day of a regular gathering of key lawmakers.

During its four-day session, the legislators are expected to consider a draft resolution on climate change as well as a draft amendment to the renewable energy law, state media reported earlier.

No details have emerged about the climate change resolution, but once it is released, probably at the end of the session Thursday, it could provide clues about the position China will adopt in the talks in December.

China's stance has so far been that the rich countries ought to shoulder the main responsibility for mitigating global warming as they have historically emitted most of the greenhouse gases at the root of the problem.

At the same time it has so far refused to commit to fixed targets for emission cuts, but has vowed to seek a more energy-efficient economy.

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