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China rolls its eyes at Trump over his ridiculous climate change claim

Faced with the prospect of a Trump administration opposed to combating global warming, Chinese officials continue to challenge the Trump's views in a way not often seen in U.S.-Chinese relations.

On Wednesday, Liu Zhenmin, China’s vice foreign minister, told reporters at the U.N. Climate Summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, that Trump is wrong to have accused China of conceiving of global warming as a "hoax."

"Look at the history of climate change negotiations, in fact it was in launched in the late '80s under the administration of Republican President Reagan and George Bush, supported by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)," Liu told reporters, according to Bloombergand reports in Chinese media.

SEE ALSO:China may leave the U.S. behind on climate change due to Trump

In 2012, Trump tweeted that China conceived of global warming so the U.S. would cripple its own emissions-intensive manufacturing sector. During the campaign, he again referred to the issue as a hoax.

Liu's comments follow statements made by China's top climate official, Xie Zhenhua, shortly before Trump's unexpected election victory.

Xie warned Trump against following through on his campaign pledge to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which went into effect on Nov. 4.

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"I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends," Xie said during a press conference on Nov. 1, prior to the presidential election.

"If they resist this trend," Xie said of a Trump White House, "I don't think they'll win the support of their people, and their country's economic and social progress will also be affected. 

The Paris agreement commits the global community, including the top emitters in the developed and developing world, to keeping human-caused climate change below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels through 2100.

Diplomats at the meeting in Morocco are working to implement the Paris accord, which grew out of the diplomatic process begun under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Mashable ImageSmoke and steam are discharged from a chimney and cooling towers at a coal-fired power plant in Tongren city, China on March 8, 2016.Credit: Jin yunguo - Imaginechina

Under President Obama, the U.S. has formed a close partnership with China by jointly committing to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This partnership spurred many other developing nations, such as India, to join the Paris accord as well.

In a speech in Marrakesh on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told delegates he couldn't offer any promises that a Trump administration would stick to the climate plans laid out under Obama, but he urged him to do so.

“I can’t stand here and speculate about what policies our President-elect will pursue,” Kerry said. “In the time I’ve spent in public life, one of the things I’ve learned is that some issues look a bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail.”

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