Another inconvenient truth about China, whose rise, contrary to fawning Western opinion, is anything but peaceful: the country is poisoning the planet and has no intention of stopping.
China takes global warming seriously, alright--as a development issue.
Translation: it's up to the developed nations, which bear the historic responsibility for human-caused climate change, to fix the problem. Developing nations, led by booming China, can't let anything get in the way of their long awaited ascent.
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters Tuesday that Beijing was willing to help reduce greenhouses gases from industry, agriculture and vehicles, which a United Nations scientific panel last week reported was almost certainly behind rising average temperatures threatening drastic climate change.
But Jiang added that rich countries bear primary responsibility for the problem and should "lead the way in assuming responsibility for emissions cuts."
The Chinese line, which will resonate with India and other developing nations, is that it has contributed no more than 10 percent of the world's emissions over the past half-century. True. But the argument conveniently ignores the fact that emissions from China and other fast-growing Asian economies are increasing faster than in other countries. The World Bank estimates that China boosted greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent between 1992 and 2002, while India's emissions grew 57 percent over the same period.
China's ruling Communist Party has based its legitimacy on rapid development and rising living standards.