This seemed to be a national pissing contest, and those who lose out because of these games will be EVERYONE.
CHINA has no regrets over its abrasive negotiating tactics at Copenhagen, saying the ''key lesson'' rich countries should take from the conference is that China cannot be pushed around.
In the first detailed, post-Copenhagen interview with the Western media by a Chinese official, climate change ambassador Yu Qingtai told The Age that the summit was ''a step in the right direction''.
But he repeatedly accused rich countries of ganging up on China.
''During and before Copenhagen there was a concerted effort by a small group of developed countries who believed that by joining hands [they could] force us to go beyond what we are responsible for or capable of,'' Mr Yu said.
''Copenhagen proved that those attempts will not be successful. In fact they should have known better. So what the developed countries need to learn from this whole process is to make up their minds whether they want to pursue confrontation or co-operation with China.''
Mr Yu said the underlying fissure at Copenhagen was whether rich countries would honour pledges made at Kyoto and Bali, particularly the principle of ''common but differentiated responsibilities'' and an American commitment to make cuts comparable with other rich countries by 2050.
Greenpeace spokeswoman Yang Ailun said China's objections were directed mainly at the US but also Canada, Japan and Australia.
Mr Yu would not comment on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's efforts at Copenhagen, but said the two countries had previously worked constructively on climate change and he hoped they would do so again.
China has made a series of policy steps to reduce pollution and energy consumption and in November made its first ''voluntary'' carbon pledge: to reduce the carbon intensity of its economic output by 40-45 per cent between 2005 and 2020.
Mr Yu said this target was ''not negotiable'' while other officials over the weekend said China would not permit international verification of its carbon performance.
Mr Yu said Beijing's objective this year was to press developed countries to detail deep carbon reduction commitments as well as their financial assistance pledges to poorer nations, rather than for the world to sign a new, legally binding global agreement.
Chinese negotiators were at the centre of several angry flare-ups at the climate change summit and were accused of stonewalling efforts to forge an ambitious binding agreement.
Last week a Hong Kong newspaper said Beijing was so embarrassed about wearing the blame for Copenhagen that it had punished one of its key negotiators, He Yafei.
But Mr Yu said such reports were ''absurd''.
''The Deputy Foreign Minister He Yafei worked outstandingly during the Copenhagen conference and his performance is … fully acknowledged and commended by his colleagues and his superiors,'' Mr Yu said.
He said he could not recall witnessing an alleged outburst by one of his colleagues at US President Barack Obama but said a decision by China's Premier Wen Jiabao not to attend a key leadership meeting was a proportionate response to China not being invited to the meeting.
He said the country responsible had later assured China an invitation had been issued, and Mr Yu conceded that this and other skirmishes may have been generated by ''confusion''.
China's uncompromising bargaining position at Copenhagen and elsewhere in recent months appear to be working.
''It's a new game,'' said one Western diplomat. ''Don't even bother addressing any global issue unless you first have China on side.''