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UPDATED: March 31, 2009
US Praises China's Efforts on Climate

The rare US praise of China's efforts to combat climate change suggests the US may be taking a positive approach to the matter, experts said yesterday.

US special envoy on climate change Todd Stern said on Sunday in Bonn, Germany, that "the Chinese are doing a lot already" to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Chinese have a lot of policies that they have put in place - energy intensity targets, significant renewable energy targets, they've got auto standards that are good, they've got efficiency standards for their top 1,000 enterprises," he said at the 175-nation UN climate talks.

Stern's remarks indicate US President Barack Obama's administration will more actively fight climate change, China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies director Zhang Tuosheng said.

The praise came before President Hu Jintao and Obama are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the G20 in London on April 2, Climate Group Greater China director Wu Changhua said.

"Stern's comments send a positive signal from the White House. And this also shows China has won international recognition for its efforts to fight climate change," Wu said.

"The US has said it will not only listen but also lead the international process, and it wants to work with China on climate change; that's why Stern says so."

But Fu Mengzi, an American studies scholar at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the US' praise of China might come with higher expectations of the developing country's performance.

Fu said it brings no good for the US to criticize China on climate change and called for cooperation between the two countries.

"It's in both countries' interests to work together to fight global warming."

China's climate ambassador Yu Qingtai said yesterday in Bonn that China would also do its share while ensuring that its people were not "left in the dark" without electricity.

(China Daily March 31, 2009)

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