Xi Makes Coal Vow, Stresses Multilateralism

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2021-09-22 HKT 04:41

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  • Xi makes coal vow, stresses multilateralism

President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, using his address at the United Nations General Assembly to add to pledges to deal with climate change.

Xi provided no details, but depending on how the policy is implemented, the move could significantly limit the financing of coal plants in the developing world.

China has been under heavy diplomatic pressure to put an end to its coal financing overseas because it could make it easier for the world to stay on course to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

Xi's announcement followed similar moves by South Korea and Japan earlier this year.

"China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad," Xi said in his pre-recorded video address at the annual UN gathering, in which he stressed China's peaceful intentions in international relations.

Xi repeated pledges from last year that China would achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060.

Xi made no direct mention of China's rivalry with the United States, where the Biden administration has made policies on climate change mitigation a top priority and sought to cooperate with Beijing.

Ties between the world's two biggest economies have been languishing at their lowest point in decades over issues ranging from human rights to the origins of Covid-19.

Xi said there was a need to "reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games," a possible reference to the US-led Quad forum of Australia, India, Japan and the United States seen as a means of pushing back against China's rise, which is due to meet at leader level in Washington on Friday.

China last week warned of an intensified arms race in the region after the United States, Britain and Australia announced a new Indo-Pacific security alliance, dubbed Aukus, which will provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

"Military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm," Xi said, in an apparent swipe at the United States. (Reuters)

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Last updated: 2021-09-22 HKT 09:04