China, Japan pledge to protect low-carbon supply chain and fair trading environment
China Japan Photo: IC
Chinese and Japanese officials on Sunday pledged to build and safeguard a low-carbon supply chain and a fair and open trade and investment environment as part of efforts to expand bilateral cooperation and openness from the Asia-Pacific region, at an annual bilateral conference. forum on energy saving and environmental protection.
The continuation of the annual forum despite the still raging COVID-19 pandemic and the tension-triggering attacks on China by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, especially his repeated provocations on the Taiwan issue, underscored the resolve of the two Asian powers to strengthen cooperation, observers note.
China’s push to reduce carbon emissions is a large and deep systemic movement for the economy and society. The country is on track to achieve the world’s highest carbon intensity reduction in the shortest possible time, said He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), in a speech during the videoconference.
China has set a goal of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2060.
In addition to the commitment to accelerate the opening of Asia-Pacific by taking the initiative to finalize the ratification process of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the two sides intend to strengthen political dialogues and exchanges within the framework of multilateral frameworks, including the Paris Accord, for there to be a fair, reasonable and win-win global climate governance mechanism, read a statement from the NDRC.
RCEP, the world’s largest trade pact and a landmark agreement for the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to officially enter into force on January 1, 2022, the Commerce Ministry announced in November. Six ASEAN member countries, along with China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia deposited the instrument of ratification, with 10 member ratifications reaching the implementation threshold.
At the conference, Chinese and Japanese officials agreed on Sunday to deepen the bilateral partnership on green technology innovation and jointly explore third-party markets.
The two countries will jointly develop a clean alternative to natural gas for industrial and domestic use, Nikkei Asia reported on Sunday.
The annual forum, held since 2006, saw the signing of a total of 413 cooperation projects, according to the NDRC, and 11 partnership agreements were signed between the two sides at this year’s forum.