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U.S., China trade barbs at Copenhagen

Dec. 12, 2009 at 8:36 AM   |   Comments

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- China and the United States are trading barbs over subsidy proposals at the U.N. climate summit conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, observers say.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei Friday taunted the United States' chief negotiator, who had earlier expressed determination that Washington would not subsidize China as part of deal to send aid from developed nations to poor countries struggling to meet greenhouse gas emissions curb targets.

"I don't want to say the gentleman is ignorant," He told reporters, referring to Todd Stern. "But I think he lacked common sense or he's extremely irresponsible."

He's comments came after Stern had said, "I don't envision public funds -- certainly not from the United States -- going to China. That's just life, and the real world."

Observers told Politico the success of any climate change reduction deal at Copenhagen will hinge on the United States and China reaching a private accord on carbon emission caps. U.S. negotiators say China and other developing nations, as well as the industrialized countries, must agree to stiff emissions cuts, noting that China will be responsible for roughly 28 percent of the world's greenhouse gas pollution by 2020.

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