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China voices 'regret' over US pullout from Paris climate pact

Trump went ahead with the move on first date possible

By AFP - Nov 05,2019 - Last updated at Nov 05,2019

People gather at Griffith Observatory in the afternoon with downtown Los Angeles in the background on Monday in Los Angeles, California (AFP photo)

BEIJING — Beijing expressed "regret" on Tuesday over Washington's decision to formally notify the United Nations that the US was withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.

President Donald Trump went ahead with the move, which had been expected, on the first possible date under the accord negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

"We hope the US can take more responsibility, and do more to contribute a driving force to the multilateral cooperation process, instead of adding negative energy," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

"We believe that climate change is a common challenge faced by all of mankind."

China's comments came ahead of the planned signing on Wednesday in Beijing of a joint document on climate by President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on an official visit.

The document will declare the "irreversibility of the Paris accord", according to the French presidency on Tuesday, which also lamented the US decision to leave the climate accord.

China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, blamed for climate change.

Announcing the move, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated Trump's remarks in 2017 that the Paris agreement imposed an "unfair economic burden" on the United States.

The United States will be officially out of the accord on November 4, 2020, one day after the presidential election in which Trump is seeking a second term.

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