In 2012, President-elect Donald Trump, then a private citizen just toying with the idea of a presidential bid, said China "created" the concept of global warming "in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
Four years later, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin is saying there's no way the Chinese government could have invented global warming as a hoax because it was Trump's Republican predecessors — former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — whose administrations started negotiations on the issue in the 1980s, according to Bloomberg.
"If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s," Zhenmin told reporters Wednesday during United Nations discussions in Marrakech, Morocco.
According to the report, nearly 200 foreign ministers and government officials gathered in Marrakech this week awaiting a decision from Trump on whether the U.S. will pull out of the Paris Agreement, which deals with climate change, once his administration takes control of the White House in January.
Zhenmin, for his part, argues that more government focus on curbing climate change and investing in cleaner technologies and manufacturing jobs would boost the U.S. economy, saying, "That’s why I hope the Republican’s administration will continue to support this process."
And since Reagan's death in 2004, George Schulz, the former president's secretary of state, has been a leading advocate for action on climate change. In a 2014 interview with Bloomberg, Schulz said the "potential results are catastrophic, ... so let’s take out an insurance policy."
Trump has not yet indicated how his administration will handle the issue.