SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) – China on Tuesday criticised calls made by some COP27 delegations for Taiwan to be included in the annual climate talks process.
Using a ‘right of reply’ statement at the end of a day of speeches at the Sharm el-Sheikh conference, China urged the summit to stick to the ‘One China Principle’ under which it regards Taiwan as part of China.
“There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China,” a member of the Chinese delegation said in the main plenary hall, according to translated remarks.
China claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s sovereignty claims.
China launched military drills near Taiwan in August, after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, including firing missiles into waters near the island.
Earlier in Sharm el-Sheikh, Guatemala’s environment minister Gerson Elias Barrios Garrido praised Taiwan’s assistance in his country efforts to adapt to rising global temperatures.
“We urge that its participation be considered in the Paris Convention and agreements so that it can join us in the fight against climate change,” he told the summit, referring to the landmark 2015 U.N. Paris Agreement on climate.
Nauru’s climate change minister Rennier Gadabu made similar remarks about Taiwan and urged the U.N. climate change body to agree an “appropriate arrangement for their professional, pragmatic, constructive participation”.
“I would like to recognise the contributions of Taiwan to both my country’s development and to the fight against climate change globally,” he said.
Responding later and without naming individual countries, China said: “The Sharm el-Sheikh COP has a very heavy task and a very tight schedule. It is hoped countries concerned adopt a clear understanding of the general situation and abide strictly by the one China principle and make joint efforts to ensure the COP achieves positive outcome.”
(Reporting by William James and Dominic Evans; Editing by David Gregorio)