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China Accuses US of Deflecting Blame as Diplomatic Row Shifts to Climate

China Accuses US of Deflecting Blame as Diplomatic Row Shifts to Climate
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_time 28 days ago
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By Staff, Agencies

A senior Chinese official accused the United States on Wednesday of deflecting blame and breaking its word when it comes to fighting climate change, as the simmering diplomatic row between the world’s two biggest economies shifts to the environment.

The US State Department said last month that China had showed “willful disregard” for air, land and water quality, and was putting global health at risk, with its climate-warming greenhouse gases the highest in the world and still rising.

But Washington cannot make other countries take responsibility for its own environmental failures, said Li Gao, head of the climate change department at China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, during a news briefing.

“The United States is the country with the most accumulated greenhouse gases, and at the start of next month will formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” he said.

The row is part of a wider dispute between the two sides, with Beijing repeatedly accusing Washington of “unilateralism”, bullying and failing to meet its global obligations while emphasizing its own multilateralist credentials.

The US began the three-year process to pull out of the Paris accord in 2017, with President Donald Trump saying the deal favored China’s firms and undermined the US economy.

But China’s foreign ministry said last week that the United States was a “consensus-breaker” and “troublemaker” and had failed to honor its commitments to the international community.