China v. UK

Tempers flare over a British op-ed thumping China's role at Copenhagen

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Op-eds don't typically start international spats, but British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband's

take on the "farcical" Copenhagen climate conference, which the Wire covered here, has got China up in arms. Writing in The Guardian, Miliband checked off the modest steps made toward progress at the conference, encouraging readers not to lose hope. He also, however, knocked China:

We did not get an agreement on 50% reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80% reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries ...

The last two weeks at times have presented a farcical picture to the public. We cannot again allow negotiations on real points of substance to be hijacked in this way.

The Chinese government flew to the press to rebut him. "The piece," the Associated Press paraphrased Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu's remarks, "seemed designed to sow discord among developing nations." Jiang didn't stop there, the AP reports:

Jiang said those responsible for the editorial should ''correct their mistakes, fulfill their obligations to developing countries in an earnest way, and stay away from activities that hinder the international community's cooperation in coping with climate change.''

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.