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China regrets failure to issue joint declaration at Arctic Council meeting

(Xinhua)    09:45, May 09, 2019

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- China expresses regret that the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting failed to formulate a joint declaration, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.

"This is the first time that such things occurred in the Arctic Council's 23 years of history, and China regrets that," spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing.

The failure of issuing a joint declaration is due to disparities over climate change between the United States and other Arctic Council member countries, according to media reports.

The Arctic is vulnerable to the influence of climate change and global warming because of its distinctive geographic location and fragile ecological environment, Geng said.

"Properly dealing with the climate change issue is critical to environmental protection and sustainable development of the Arctic," Geng said.

In response to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks at the meeting accusing China's carbon dioxide emissions, Geng said China plays an important role in the signing of the Paris Agreement as well as its coming into force.

"In comparison, it is clear to all who actually withdrew from the Paris Agreement and hindered international cooperation in coping with climate change," he said.

China, as an active participant in international cooperation of climate change, is willing to work with relevant parties to further build political consensus, and strengthen exchanges and cooperation, to effectively cope with the challenges that climate change brings to the Arctic, he added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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