China, soon to be the world's biggest greenhouse gas polluter, has gone on the offensive in global warming politics, opposing emissions caps likely to shape contentious negotiations about solutions.
China objects to much in the draft of the latest UN report on global warming driven by greenhouse gases being discussed by scientists and officials in Bangkok this week, aiming to protect long-term growth plans from pressure to cut emissions.
"China doesn't want to be corralled into commitments that minimise its freedom of action and questioning the science, and digging in is part of that," said Paul Harris, an expert on climate change politics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
China plans fast industrialisation for decades to come and its output of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas pollutant, could outstrip that of the US as early as this year, the International Energy Agency has claimed.
So, under an international glare of attention ahead of talks about greenhouse gas rules after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, Beijing has gone on the offensive.
"It wants to put off into the future the serious discussion of accepting mandatory limits," Mr Harris said. …