Kevin Rudd Denies Reports He Tried To Punch Chinese Negotiator At Climate Summit
Kevin Rudd has fugitively come out swinging against claims he tried to punch a Chinese negotiator at a climate summit back in 2009.
The then-Aussie Prime Minister has been accused by his former UK counterpart Gordon Brown of failing to keep his cool at the Copenhagen talks more than a decade ago.
Mr Brown told The Guardian that talks at the climate discussion failed because the US was reluctant to agree to several commitments and had a 'deep suspicion' of China, India and other countries.
"So determined were they to avoid binding commitments that they rejected Europe's offer to unilaterally bind itself to a 50 per cent cut in its emissions," Mr Brown wrote.
"So bitter were the divisions that the Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, who bravely stood out for an ambitious deal, had to be physically restrained from punching the Chinese negotiator."
The allegation has sparked outcry from Mr Rudd, who said the claim is nothing but an old wive's tale.
Mr Rudd told Fairfax: "It didn't happen. I've always made a point of leaving the shirt-fronting to [former prime minister] Tony Abbott.
"The bottom line is that I was vigorously prosecuting Australia's climate interests at a time when China was aggressively resisting. I make no apologies for doing so."
While he didn't hit a negotiator, he certainly used an interesting vocabulary for a Prime Minister when the climate talks failed to produce a big, global agreement.
When the discussions broke down, Mr Rudd famously told a journalist that 'those Chinese f***ers are trying to ratf*** us'.
It certainly caused a stir when those comments were made public and Kevin07 sought to clarify them when he released his autobiography.
"I admit this was a colourful phrase," he wrote. "It reflected my own degree of personal frustration at what had just occurred.
"I did not use that term to describe the Chinese government, let alone the Chinese people. I didn't, for example, refer to the Chinese as ratf***ers."
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