Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday fended off criticism that Beijing acted arrogantly at last year's climate summit in Copenhagen and was a main culprit for its limited success, saying he had been the target of a diplomatic snub at the outset. Offering his first account of the chaotic situation four months after the widely ridiculed conference, the premier - who was criticised for skipping a key meeting of world leaders at the summit - said he had not received an invitation to a similar meeting the previous night. Wen's counter-snub was seen not only as part of his efforts to straighten out what he perceived as false allegations in the West, but also showed China's increasing assertiveness in handling global issues such as climate change, analysts said. His remarks came after the country's top climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, said last week that the world should learn from procedural problems that plagued the Copenhagen talks. The final accord was produced by only a small number of countries. Analysts say Wen's remarks indicate Beijing is unlikely to make any major concessions before or during the next UN climate talks in Mexico this year. When pressed by foreign media at yesterday's news conference, Wen appeared well prepared, saying he was glad to have the chance to clear up what happened in the final hours in Copenhagen. 'It baffles me why some people still try to take issue with China,' he said. 'As the Chinese proverb goes, my conscience is untainted despite rumours and slanders from outside.' But his well-scripted response failed to address the question of why he boycotted the summit meeting on December 18 attended by US President Barack Obama and 19 other heads of state, instead sending Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei on his behalf. The move was read by many, the most vocal being French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as a breach of diplomatic protocol and indicative of China's 'go-it-alone approach'. Instead of giving a straightforward explanation for this, Wen gave a long account of why he boycotted another meeting which was scheduled on December 17, the eve of Obama's arrival. He said he was not even invited to it in the first place. 'I heard about the late-night meeting of only a selected number of nations, including China, at a dinner of world leaders. I felt shocked that I had not received any notification of China being invited,' he said. After checking with his delegation, he sent He to the meeting to register China's protest. 'Why was China not notified of this meeting? So far no one has given us any explanation about this, and it is still a mystery to me,' he said. This episode was read as a conspiracy theory against Beijing among the Chinese delegation, which left Wen infuriated, according to several climate negotiators. Analysts said those sentiments could also partly explain Wen's boycotting of the summit with Obama the next day. Wen also vigorously defended the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding, face-saving political deal that was widely seen as a failure, saying it was 'the best possible outcome that could be achieved on an issue that concerns the major interests of all countries'. Despite the prolonged blame game following the Copenhagen talks, Wen reiterated China's commitment on pushing ahead with stalled international climate negotiations. In his words China didn?t seek hegemony when it was still poor, it will not do so when it?s richer, it will never seek hegemony. All of these may cause setbacks in the recovery of the global economy and may even cause a double-dip. We are opposed to the practice of engaging in mutual finger-pointing among countries or taking strong measures to force other countries to appreciate their currencies. Why was China not notified of this meeting? So far, no one has given us any explanation about this, and it is still a mystery to me. If there is inflation, plus unfair income distribution and corruption, they will be strong enough to affect social stability and even the stability of the state?s power. Differences between brothers cannot sever their blood ties and I believe that problems will eventually be solved. I still cherish a very strong wish to visit Taiwan one day.