China protests calls to include Taiwan in climate talks

A view during the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 1, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto) (Photo by Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP)

DUBAI, Dec 9, 2023 (AFP) – China on Saturday lodged a protest after calls at the UN climate talks in Dubai to include Taiwan, the self-governing democracy claimed by Beijing.

Two of the dwindling number of countries that recognise Taiwan — Guatemala and the tiny Pacific island of Nauru — both hailed support from Taipei in addresses at the COP28 conference.

“I would take this opportunity to make special reference to the government of Taiwan, a friendly country which has contributed via international cooperation to development projects to bolster adaptation and resilience projects on climate change,” said Marco Vinicio Ochoa, a vice minister from the Central American country.

“Therefore, we call for them to be able to participate in this important forum,” he said.

A representative from Beijing exercised a right to respond to raise objections.

“A handful of countries ignored the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and made noises about the participation by the Taiwan authorities,” she said.

“In fact, the Taiwan region can contribute to the global climate change fight through existing arrangements.”

The United Nations booted out Taiwan, formally the Republic of China, in 1971 and Beijing in recent years has stepped up pressure on countries to refuse even a semblance of recognition to Taiwan.

Taiwan has nonetheless submitted an action plan to curb climate change to the UN climate body in line with the 2015 accord and in Dubai took out advertisements in public places to highlight its activities.