China's attitude on Libya: Give peace a chance

08:24, March 31, 2011      

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President Hu Jintao meets his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Sarkozy will attend a seminar on the international monetary system on Thursday in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province. (Wu Zhiyi / China Daily)

China's President Hu jintao meeting his French counterpart Micolas Sarkozy in Beijing called for immediate cease-fire in Libya, including NATO-led multinational air strikes there, to avoid rising civilian deaths and injuries.

Hu told Sarkozy that the world should "give peace a chance", through well-willed peaceful negotiations on the table, while not via guns and missiles.

The Chinese President stressed that "history has time and again proved the use of military force is no answer to any problem, but, complicate the problem". Hu emphasized that the ultimate solution lies in "dialogue and other peaceful means".

France has championed the Western-led military assault against Colonel Muammar Gadhafi's government forces, which has raised eyebrows across the globe.

Hu said that the United Nation Security Council resolution on setting a no-fly zone in Libya was meant to end internal violence and protect civilians in the North African country. However, any military action that causes a greater humanitarian crisis in Libya "runs counter to the original intention" of the resolution.

China abstained when the resolution, initiated by France, Britain and the United States, was put to a vote.

Firm opposition to use of force

The Chinese President reiterated Beijing's firm opposition to the use of force, and expressed support for any political move to ease the Libyan situation.

Hu noted that some countries and regional organizations had put forward "constructive" proposals and suggestions to solve the Libyan crisis, which should "deserve a positive response" from the world community.

"Let's give peace a chance. This conforms to the interests of all sides concerned," President Hu said.

Besides China, the African Union, Russia and Brazil, have opposed the NATO-led air strikes in Libya. African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping, who has opposed any military intervention in Libya, shunned the international conference held in London Tuesday to discuss Libya's future.

Russia has been voicing concern about civilian casualties and excessive use of force since the operation began. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned the West yesterday against supplying weapons to Libyan rebels and called for a quick end to hostilities there.

Yet differences on Libya between China and France have not impaired bilateral ties, which both leaders pledged to advance during their talks.

Sarkozy is visiting China to attend a seminar on the international monetary system on Thursday in Nanjing, in Southeast China's Jiangsu province.

As France holds the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 leading developed and emerging economies, Sarkozy proposed to hold the French-organized seminar in a Chinese city, seeking to enroll Beijing's support in reforming the international monetary system, the AFP reported.

After China, Sarkozy is scheduled to visit Japan as the first head of state since the catastrophic March 11 earthquake which grabbed lives of more than 11,000. Many more remain missing.

By People's Daily Online

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