Bilateral climate talks are off to a tense start at the historic United Nations climate summit in Poland after a Chinese official claimed that tennis star Novak Djokovic’s pollution case was “maliciously hyped up” by the U.S. media.
Chinese Climate Policy Advisor Ma Jun denounced the U.S. media for pushing an anti-China agenda on an “irresponsible” jury during a panel at the COP23 summit Friday.
“A kind of maliciously hyped up case of a tennis player who was exposed to [pollution], whether intentional or unintentional, suddenly appeared on this podium at a terrible hour when journalists and observers were in the middle of commercial breaks. They suddenly discussed it like every event has always been discussed at COP23 and they focused on it with extreme attention and connected it to other cases,” Ma said, according to Reuters.
During his Friday morning press conference, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley dismissed the notion that the U.S. media would intentionally twist foreign issues in a way that could impact the Trump administration.
“Nobody is deliberately making this issue to be a political football,” Haley said, according to Reuters. “This was an emergency, actually. Some people were really, really exposed to excess levels of pollution.”