Xinhua Correspondents Learn from Mark Lynas*)

The following are excerpts from a Xinhua article of December 25

Wen’s whirlwind negotiations that afternoon [Dec 17] involved British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The three industrialized countries, though ambitious in leading international cooperation on climate change issues, lacked understanding of developing countries and had therefore raised some unrealistic and unfair requests. […]

At a banquet hosted by Danish Queen Margrethe II on Dec. 17 evening, Premier Wen was told that the United States would hold a small-scope meeting between several countries’ leaders after the dinner.

During his talk with a foreign leader, Premier Wen learnt China was on the list of the meeting’s participating countries while he himself was not invited and neither did the Chinese delegation receive a notice for the mysterious meeting. […]

It was Premier Wen who played a key role in the last-minute attempt [Dec 18] to exchange ideas and reach consensus.

Wen believed that it was impossible to reach a legally binding agreement at that time, while no country was willing to be responsible for the failure if the conference yielded no result in the end.

“As long as there is hope of one percent, we should not give up and must instead make 100 percent of effort,” he told the Chinese delegation.

Wen decided to meet other leaders of the BASIC countries*) again and make a final attempt.

At the same time, President Obama said he wanted to have a second meeting with Premier Wen. Wen agreed to meet him after the BASIC meeting ended.

The BASIC countries leaders agreed that the Copenhagen conference might fail and all-out efforts should be made to help achieve some results.

They agreed to reach consensus on key issues first and then negotiate with the United States and European countries on the basis of safeguarding interests for the developing countries and with the highest degree of flexibility.

Wen urged to keep contact and enhance cooperation with African countries, the Group of 77 and small island states.

At 6:50 p.m., when the BASIC leaders were reviewing their final common position, President Obama showed up, which was a bit of surprise for those in the room although the scheduled time for the Sino-American meeting was over.

Obama stopped with one foot outside the gate and asked Premier Wen with smiles if he should wait outside or join the discussion.

Premier Wen stood up and politely invited Obama to join them. Obama accepted and walked around the room to shake hands with all the people present, before taking a seat to the left of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and opposite to Wen.

The BASIC leaders knew very well the U.S. stance since they all met respectively before.[…..]

The [Copenhagen] achievement was a result of joint efforts by all the participating countries other than out of the will of one or two countries. […]

Xinhua correspondents Zhao Cheng and Tian Fan, who accompanied and covered Premier Wen Jiabao‘s tour to the Copenhagen climate talks last week.

Thanks to Matthew‘s link on Found in China.

____________

Footnotes:
*) Mark Lynas, correspondent with The Guardian
**) BASIC countries: Brazil, South Africa, India, China

Related:
“A new agreement should contain the key Kyoto provisions”, The Deccan Herald, Dec 24, 2009

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