12/06/2011 01:30 EST | Updated 02/05/2012 05:12 EST

China keeping mum on climate commitments at South African summit: Kent

OTTAWA - China won't put its money where its mouth is at a major summit on climate change, Canada's environment minister said Tuesday.

Peter Kent said the Chinese have kept mum behind closed doors at climate talks in the South African coastal city of Durban.

The world's No. 1 polluter became the surprise rock star of the summit after it opened the once-firmly shut door to binding targets to lower its emissions. The lead Chinese negotiator told reporters that China is open to legally binding targets after 2020 as long as several conditions are met.

One condition is rich countries such as Canada agreeing to take on a second round of commitments under the expiring Kyoto Protocol