Stanley's blog

This morning in Beijing, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao explained at his press conference what actually happened in Copenhagen on 17 December 2009 on the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference, which gave rise to criticism of Chinese behaviour and even allegations of arrogance. It is remarkable that this is the first official version of what happened three months ago. There has been total silence by the Danish hosts.

According to Wen Jiabao, he did not learn of the meeting of a small group of leaders to be held after the banquet given by the Danes for participating leaders, until during the banquet itself. A European leader showed him the list of invited countries, which included China. He was subsequently told by the leader of a big emerging country that that he had just received an invitation to the meeting.

The Premier returned to his hotel and checked with the Chinese delegation that no invitation had been received. He therefore decided to send the Vice Foreign Minister to the meeting. Wen Jiabao said that President Obama had not yet arrived.

The Deputy Foreign Minister protested at the meeting and said that ‘I’ve arrived to attend the meeting uninvited.” Premier Wen did not disclose what anyone said in response. However, he said that no-one has given an explanation of why China was not invited and it remains a mystery.

• Why did Wen Jiabao not immediately contact the Danish hosts at the banquet?
• Why did he choose not to go when he knew that it was intended he be invited?
• Why have the organizers given no explanation?

Climate change is a big enough challenge to face without diplomatic problems of this kind.

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Comments

  1. Wen did not receive any formal invitation from the host. He just saw “a list” by chance which was shown by somebody who was not the host of the meeting. In my opinion, it would be inappropriate in diplomatic terms for him to approach a host asking about a meeting which he had not been invited. Remember, the list he was shown was not any formal evidence that he was invited. As a premier of a nation, he could not take risk of following the “assumption” that he was (would be) invited based on a hearsay style list. How could he (you) be sure that he was intend to be invited? The intention had to come from the host which was silent (even still silent).

  2. He was annoyed basically and rightly so.

    Your suggestion would be like sending your kid to your neighbour house asking why they hasn’t sent you a formal invitation to their party, while you have got a wind from Ms. Hearsay down the road about the event. Apparently Wen didn’t think that way.

  3. More importantly, it seems that until the start of the meeting when the deputy minister went in and protested, Wen/China still didn’t receive any formal invitation. So, isn’t it more logical to question the behaviour of the host in this case (but apparently it is not considered policitally correct by the media)

  4. cc See later post
    The facts remain confused but no-one has covered themselves with glory

  5. The “facts” do not seem to be confused at all at all if we take a look at the “independent, free” media.

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