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  • A worker checks a mask of Donald Trump at Jinhua Partytime Latex Art and Crafts Factory in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, China, May 25, 2016.

    A worker checks a mask of Donald Trump at Jinhua Partytime Latex Art and Crafts Factory in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, China, May 25, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 November 2016

The head of China’s delegation in Morocco's climate summit said former U.S. Republican presidents were the ones to initiate talks on global warming.

Speaking from the COP22 climate change conference in Morocco Wednesday, the Chinese foreign minister rebuffed President-elect Donald Trump’s previous comments claiming that global warming was created by China, saying that former Republican presidents were, in fact, the ones to kick off talks on climate change and not Beijing.

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“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” China’s Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters during an hour-long briefing.

The real estate billionaire said in a tweet back in 2012 that the idea of global warming “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

When confronted with this comment during the U.S. primaries, Trump said during an interview it was a “joke” but that action to combat climate change was “done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change."

Trump has repeatedly called global warming a hoax and has made it one of the priorities in his first 100 days in office to leave the Paris deal, halt any U.S. taxpayer funds for U.N. global warming programs, and revive the U.S. coal sector.

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If he follows through on his promises, he would reverse President Barack Obama’s stance on the issue. Obama made climate change a policy priority and called the rising temperatures and other fallout from climate change "terrifying."

China, the biggest greenhouse gas emitter, ahead of the United States, said it would push ahead with its promises to limit climate change and urged Trump to reconsider.

"As the largest developed economy in the world, U.S. support is essential. We have to expect they will take a smart and wise decision," Zhenmin said.

Trump frequently criticized China’s trade practices and said in his plan that he would declare it a “currency manipulator” but Sunday night he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which they “established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another,” Trump’s team said.

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