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New Biodiversity Accord: Take responsibility, embrace “harmony with nature,” China premier urges major powers

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping, after he is voted as the premier for another term, at the sixth plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 18, 2018.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged the international community to “show responsibility” and play a leading role in improving global environmental governance and addressing such challenges as climate change.

Speaking via video link at the opening ceremony of the IUCN World Conservation Congress on Friday, Li said that countries should use the United Nations to draw up global rules and create a governance system that is fair, reasonable and benefit-sharing.

“The international community must use unprecedented determination and action to for improved environmental governance, and promote the construction of a beautiful world in which humanity is in harmony with nature,” he added.

China has been promoting the concept of “harmony with nature” and the use of “nature-based solutions” as it prepares to host global negotiations on a new biodiversity accord, set to get underway in the southwestern city of Kunming in October.

Beijing submitted a draft “Kunming Declaration” to international partners last week, which included several slogans and concepts now being promoted by China’s ruling Communist Party.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry held two days of talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Tianjin this week, urging Chinese leaders to ensure that politics was kept out of climate change discussions.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi told Kerry that climate “cannot be separated” from the wider diplomatic issues between the two countries, and that climate change was a reality.

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