China's Li: fighting climate change is 'global consensus'

Speaking at a business event with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Merkel said China and Germany saw the opportunities that globalisation and digitalisation presented and wanted to work together to bring about "global progress together".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) yesterday said the world's No. 1 polluter will stick to its pledges to tackle global warming, underscoring the risk of US isolation if US President Donald Trump pulls out of the Paris climate accord.

Without mentioning the United States specifically, Mr Li said that "China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment", and pointed out that it was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Beijing had been "actively promoting the Paris agreement and we were one of the first countries to ratify the Paris agreement", he added.

"Climate change is not a fairy tale".

"We will issue a joint statement on climate change that will stress that China and the European Union. will implement the agreement", a senior European Union official told reporters on Wednesday, on condition of anonymity.

Russian Federation joined the chorus, saying that the deal will be less effective without its key participants.

"Despite this possible rollback of the U.S. administration, Europe is ready for the leadership (on climate change) and we will definitely provide it", he added.

China's number two official was received with military honours at Chancellor Angela Merkel's office, becoming the second leader of a rising Asian giant to visit in as many days after India's Narendra Modi.

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"I understand that if they decide to pull out it will be disappointing but I really don't think this will change the course of mankind", European Commission vice president for energy, Maros Sefcovic, said at a briefing.

While he did not mention the U.S. or Donald Trump, Mr Li's comments were clearly addressed to Washington.

"The Paris Agreement will continue with full force of implementation even if the U.S. pulls out", he added.

Mr Li is set to meet top European Union officials at a summit in Brussels today.

The deal commits the countries to cut carbon emission.

Other European leaders issued more explicit appeals to the US government not to abandon worldwide measures against climate change.

Doing business in China remains hard for many European companies and most are still being treated unfairly, a lobby group said yesterday, undermining Beijing's claims that it welcomes foreign investment. "We see it as our responsibility to strengthen our partnership in many fields and to work for a rules-based world order", she said.

Mr Li said he believed the two had found a solution on the issue of Chinese quotas for electric cars after a lengthy discussion.

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