BEIJING — China wants to increase cooperation with the U.S. and other nations to reach a deal at global climate talks in December, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday.
Li's comments come less than two months ahead of the global climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, that seeks an international agreement on a treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. It would replace the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
Negotiations have been deadlocked for months amid rising doubts about whether a new pact can be reached in time.
China and the U.S. together account for 40 percent of greenhouse gases, and no treaty would succeed without the participation of both nations.
"The Chinese side is ready to strengthen consultation and communication with all the parties, including the American side, so as to continue to work positively and constructively for success in Copenhagen," Li told participants at a U.S.-China clean energy forum in Beijing.
Success in Copenhagen "serves the common interests of all parties, including China and the U.S.," Li said. "Although there are many outstanding issues in the negotiations, as long all sides can work together, we can find an equitable, reasonable and sustainable solution."
So far, wealthy nations have agreed to some emissions cuts, but they balk at making the 25 to 40 percent cuts that scientists and activists say are needed to keep global warming in check.
Developing countries like China and India have refused to agree to binding targets before seeing more ambitious cuts by the industrialized nations. They also insist that developed nations should provide technology transfers and substantial financial assistance.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who spoke to the forum through a video link, called it a "critical moment" for China-U.S. cooperation.
"As always, we are more likely to succeed when we work together," she said. "If we do, our partnership can provide an example to the world of how nations can collaborate to protect our share of the environment while increasing prosperity and opportunity for our own citizens."
On Wednesday, China's President Hu Jintao spoke by phone with U.S. leader Barack Obama, saying Beijing was hopeful that Copenhagen talks would be successful.
"Even though there are still many problems that need to be solved in the current negotiations, as long as all parties join hands and strive hard, there is still hope that the Copenhagen meeting will achieve positive results," Hu was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.