Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod will visit China as part of his Asia Tour where he will meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on 26 November.
It is the first time in over three years that a Danish foreign minister visits China and Jeppe Kofod has several goals with his visit, the statement said.
Firstly, it is part of the government’s overall effort to purposefully accelerate the green transition in China, which is the world’s largest emitter of CO2. China is committed to the green agenda but needs to accelerate to meet its reduction targets. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will therefore discuss the need for a rapid phasing out of coal, energy cooperation, and increased focus on the environment and biodiversity.
During the visit, as many as five bilateral agreements on climate, energy, and environmental cooperation will be signed. The Foreign Minister will meet virtually with the Chinese Minister of the Environment to discuss ambitions and cooperation on the international climate negotiations and China’s hosting of the international negotiations on biodiversity. These meetings are also attended by Minister of Climate, Energy and Supply Dan Jørgensen and Minister of the Environment Lea Wermelin virtually from Denmark.
Speaking on the matter Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod says, “Denmark is contributing to significant reductions around the world, including in China. Our companies sell energy technology and through our extensive cooperation in the climate and energy field with China, Denmark helps to inspire the world’s largest CO2 emitter to go in a positive direction. It will benefit everyone – not least the planet. We will work towards concluding a new green joint work program with China and thereby focus our cooperation on sustainable development and the green transition.”
During the visit, the Foreign Minister will also raise his concerns about the human rights situation in China. It is a priority for Denmark that China maintains its obligations under the international human rights conventions, the announcement said.
Moreover, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that another key point on the trip is the conditions for Danish companies. Exports to China broke a record in 2020, and the country is now Denmark’s fifth-largest export market. The opportunities for increased commercial cooperation are great, but Danish and European companies are also experiencing increased challenges. The Foreign Minister will therefore raise the concerns with the Chinese Foreign Minister and the Chinese Minister of Trade. An agreement on cooperation regarding the protection of patents and trademarks will, among other things, contribute to increased cooperation on framework conditions for Danish companies in China.