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Wen: China's Climate Action Not Subject to Int'l Monitoring

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Thursday that China is not obliged to subject its voluntary climate action to international monitoring.

Wen made the remarks when meeting with some world leaders on the sidelines of the ongoing UN climate change conference in the Danish capital, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei told reporters.

The Bali Action Plan has clear stipulations regarding whether a country's mitigation action should be subject to international scrutiny, He Yafei quoted Wen as saying.

"For developing countries, only those mitigation actions supported internationally will be subject to the MRV. The voluntary mitigation actions should not be subject to international MRV," Wen said, referring to the scheme requiring national mitigation action to be "measurable, reportable and verifiable."

Negotiators from more than 190 countries are running against time on Thursday to wrap up the 11-day talks, hoping to seal a deal to move forward the global fight against climate change before world leaders meet on Friday.

The Bali Action Plan, adopted by both developed and developing countries in 2007, lays down the basis for the current negotiations.

Disregarding what they have agreed, developed countries are trying to press China to accept international monitoring of its national mitigation action.

The United States said on Thursday it was prepared to join other rich countries in raising US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries combat climate change, but set a condition that emerging countries including China should accept international monitoring of its mitigation action.

Wen said China's refusal of international monitoring does not mean the country is afraid of supervision.

"It is a matter of principle, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities," Wen said.

As the climate change negotiations dragged on, Wen said the important thing is to take action.

"A dozen declarations are not worth one action, meaning action speaks louder than declaration," the premier said, calling for mutual trust.

"Mutual trust is extremely important. We should not go for suspicion. We should not go for confrontation. We should go for cooperation," he said.

Wen said China will take necessary domestic measures to ensure full transparency and implementation of its national mitigation action.

"As Premier Wen has decided, the mitigation action we have set for China will be fully guaranteed legally, domestically," He Yafei said. "There would be a monitoring and verification regime inside China, which is legally binding in China."

The Chinese government recently announced a plan to reduce the per unit of GDP energy consumption by 20 percent till 2010, and it is poised to put the target into its national social and economic development plan.

Wen said China would also consider dialogue and cooperation with other countries, warning there should be no infringement on China's sovereignty.

"We promise to make our action transparent. We promise the implementation of action," Wen said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2009)