World News Brief, Wednesday December 23

China rebuffs criticism of its Copenhagen behaviour; Support for Japanese government plummets; Israel on verge of prisoner swap; Taiwan begins new round of negotiations with China; and more

Top of the Agenda: China Criticized for Copenhagen

China rebuffed (FT) criticism by international leaders that it blocked an agreement on emissions targets at climate talks in Copenhagen, as experts continue to assess the impact of the agreement reached. On Monday, Britain's climate change and energy secretary Ed Miliband wrote in the Guardian that China is responsible for blocking agreement on emissions targets. He wrote, "We did not get an agreement on 50 percent reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80 percent reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries."

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded (GlobalTimes) that Britain's remarks had a political bent. "Their purpose is to shift their responsibility of helping developing countries and to create tensions in China's relations with other nations. Such a scheme won't succeed," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. "We urge them to correct their mistakes, earnestly fulfill their duty in helping developing countries, and not to disturb the international cooperation on curbing climate change."

Analysts consider China to be one of the few winners from the Copenhagen Accord, since it showed its diplomatic force and avoided any new commitments that could put a break on its development.


On, John Lee examines why China refuses international scrutiny of its emissions controls and economic policies.

On the National Post's "Full Comment" blog, Kelly McParland says Copenhagen "was an epic display of international grandstanding" but that China and the United States "focused on what was possible" and "worked out an agreement both could live with."


A CFR Backgrounder examines Copenhagen's many agendas.


PACIFIC RIM: China-Taiwan Relations

China's chief negotiator for Taiwan affairs Chen Yunlin arrived in Taiwan (GlobalTimes) for a new round of high-level trade talks, as Taiwanese pro-independence protesters continued to rally against his visit.

Japan: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's government, which took power in September with an approval rate above 70 percent, has seen its public support plummet (JapanTimes) to around 50 percent amid public fears about the Japanese economy and Hatoyama's policy pledges.



Israel moves toward prisoner swap deal.
US to announce cybersecurity chief.


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