Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji announced Tuesday at the World Summit on Sustainable Development that China has approved the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"The approval manifests China's positive stance towards international environmental cooperation and world sustainable development," said the Chinese premier in a press release.
According to the press release, China's Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Yingfan deposited the instrument of approval of the Kyoto Protocol with the UN secretary-general on August 30.
The Kyoto Protocol was opened for signature on December 11, 1997. China signed the pact on May 29, 1998.
"The Chinese government believes that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol set forth the fundamental principles and provide an effective framework and a series of rules for international cooperation in combating climate change, and as such they deserve worldwide compliance," said Zhu.
As Japan, the European Union and its member states have ratified or approved the protocol, he said, China hopes other developed countries will ratify or approve the protocol as soon as possible so as to enable it to enter into force within this year.
China is a low-income developing country with a large population, Zhu said, adding that poverty eradication and economic development are its top priorities.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Chinese government attaches great importance to climate change, Zhu said.
Zhu said the Chinese government at all levels has exerted tremendous efforts to address this problem, citing China's achievements in improving energy efficiency as a supporting example.
"These achievements have won worldwide recognition," he said.