Chinese Foreign Ministry Asked U.S. to “correct its mistake” for Expelling Two Chinese Diplomats

At Spokesperson Geng Shuang’s regular press conference on December 16, 2019, he answered a reporter’s question about the recent expulsion of Chinese diplomats by U.S. government. Geng also blamed U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

Q: A New York Times report over the weekend said that the US government expelled two Chinese embassy officials after they drove onto a sensitive military base in Virginia. The article described it as the first expulsion of Chinese diplomats suspected of espionage in more than 30 years. Can you comment on that?

A: The US accusation on our officials is completely inconsistent with the truth. We made stern representations and protests to the US side. We urge the US to correct its mistake, withdraw this decision and protect Chinese diplomats’ legitimate rights and interests according to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. We’d like to remind the US that it is a reciprocal process for countries to grant work-related convenience and guarantee to foreign diplomats following the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Q: UN Secretary-General António Guterres was disappointed by the climate change conference in Madrid, saying it’s a lost opportunity. A lot of countries blamed each other. Some countries and activists blamed China and India for not improving their current emission reduction plans. What’s China’s take on the summit? Should anyone be responsible for this lost opportunity?

A: The COP 25 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded after a two-day postponement. China regrets that parties failed to reach a substantive consensus on core issues due to differences on key points.

But on the other hand, though the US has started withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, there were over 30 decisions adopted at the conference on matters regarding the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, which include the “Chile-Madrid Time for Action” decision that affirms multilateralism and climate action, as well as a series of procedural arrangement on matters relating to market mechanisms in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Although these outcomes fall short of international expectation, China believes they have prepared the ground for a substantive consensus in the future.

This conference marked disagreement especially between developed and developing countries on issues like climate governance and burden-sharing, and the increasingly severe lack of support from developed nations to developing ones. We call on developed countries to strengthen new, additional support with public fund as a main source, increase financial transparency and make sure their support is commensurate with developing countries’ actions. At the same time, in order to achieve the global goals set by the Paris Agreement after 2020, while filling existing shortfalls, developed countries need to first take concrete actions, formulate viable policy approaches and share them with developing countries.

As the biggest developing country, while facing difficult tasks such as improving people’s lives, China has been actively fulfilling international responsibilities that are consistent with our development stage and domestic conditions, taking concrete police actions on climate change and implementing our commitments to the fullest extent. Our contributions are there for all to see. In 2018, China’s carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP dropped by 45.8% compared to that in 2005, which equals the amount of 5.26 billion tons of carbon dioxide. China’s investment in renewable energy is larger than any other country. We have 30% of world’s installed renewable energy capacity. In the same category, our increase is 44% of that globally. We have more than half of the world’s electric cars.

Also, China has been contributing to the achievements of the Madrid conference in an active and constructive manner.

I’d like to emphasize that to deal with climate change, the urgent task is to uphold multilateralism and implement the Paris Agreement on the basis of equity and in accordance with all parties’ common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Working with all parties, China will continue to push for the conclusion of the “last mile” of the negotiations on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, to improve a global climate governance system that is fair, equitable and mutually beneficial, and to contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

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