Prince Charles chums up to China on mission to save the planet as he is invited to speak to ten of the country’s most important business leaders
- Prince Charles was told China wished to join his Sustainable Markets Initiative
- He was applauded when he began by speaking in Mandarin at virtual discussion
- His aides said there were no plans to go to country but did not rule it out in future
- The SMI, with members such as BP, is discussing whether to allow China to join
Prince Charles launched a charm offensive towards China yesterday after president Xi Jinping invited him to speak to ten of its most important business leaders.
Charles took part in a virtual round table discussion after he was told China wished to join his Sustainable Markets Initiative, a global ‘coalition of the willing’ working towards economic growth and prosperity in a more environmentally friendly way.
He was applauded by the executives when he began by speaking in Mandarin and was invited to visit the country to discuss the issue further. Aides said later there were no plans to go but did not rule it out in future.
The SMI, with members such as BP, Bank of America, KPMG and AstraZeneca, is now discussing whether to allow China to join.
Round table: Prince Charles pictured during a virtual round table discussion after he was told China wished to join his Sustainable Markets Initiative
The prince said: ‘China is, of course, critical to our shared future on this planet. It is therefore my great hope that, together, we will be able to work towards establishing a China Council as part of my Sustainable Markets Initiative….in order to help accelerate the green economy globally.
‘This Initiative aims to help find immense and accelerating solutions to the practical problems posed by climate change, and to scale them up to promote the global cooperation which is critical to achieving a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. I am delighted that we now have an opportunity to engage with you all as representatives of the Chinese private sector.’
Though China is known to be one of the world’s most polluting nations, he added: ‘I know that a deep understanding of nature has underpinned Chinese civilisation, healthcare, craftsmanship and philosophy for thousands of years. The world has much to learn from this timeless wisdom, which is one of China’s great gifts to this world of ours.’
He continued: ‘China has already done a great deal to advance the green economy… we have much to learn from each other.’
Ten of the country’s most important business leaders on video. The SMI, with members such as BP, Bank of America, KPMG and AstraZeneca, is now discussing whether to allow China to join
Charles boycotted a state banquet to mark the visit of president Xi Jinping (pictured above) in 2015, but discussed environmental concerns at a private meeting
Charles has been a vocal critic of China over the years, particularly on human rights.
He boycotted a state banquet to mark the visit of president Xi in 2015, but discussed environmental concerns at a private meeting.
The prince also gave the opening remarks by video link at the China-hosted COP15 Biodiversity Conference yesterday after again being invited by the Chinese president. He called for nature to be put at ‘the heart of our economy’.
He added: ‘Everything we need to survive –the food we eat, the water we drink, the oxygen we breathe – depends on the work of other species and the ecosystems they create. Yet we continue blithely to wipe out species. We seem intent on testing our unique world to destruction.
‘But, as Chinese culture has long understood, our inter-relationship with nature is critical for our own health and that of everything around us. When we protect lands and ocean, we in fact protect ourselves. Time, I’m afraid, is not on our side.’