CHINA CLIMATE PUSH

BEIJING - China will treat talks on a binding global climate change pact in 2010 as a struggle over the "right to develop", a Chinese official said, signalling more tough deal-making will follow the Copenhagen summit.

BEIJING - China will treat talks on a binding global climate change pact in 2010 as a struggle over the "right to develop", a Chinese official said, signalling more tough deal-making will follow the Copenhagen summit.

The rancorous meeting ended on Saturday with a bare-boned agreement that "noted" a broad accord struck at the last moment between the United States and the big developing countries - China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases from human activities and its biggest developing economy, was at the heart of the talks and bared some of its growing assertiveness in grinding late-night sessions.

"It was a result that came from hard work on all sides, was accepted by all, didn't come easy and should be treasured," Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said.

Wen said China is willing to build on the Copenhagen agreement and push for international cooperation on climate change.

Talks on a binding treaty are to extend throughout next year, and China is bracing for more strife over how to mesh its economic and emissions growth with a commitment to cut greenhouse gas levels.

"The diplomatic and political wrangling over climate change that is opening up will be focused on the right to develop and space to develop," foreign ministry official Yi Xianliang, said.

The negotiations that culminated in Copenhagen showed "conflicts were increasingly sharp and the crux of disputes was steadily involving each country's core interests", Yi said.

Wealthy nations had failed to spell out their commitments to help poor countries cope with global warming, he said.

Rich nations say China's efforts to slow greenhouse gas growth should be subject to international verification to assure wary voters and lawmakers that Beijing is keeping its word. - Reuters

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