China adopts pragmatic, constructive approach on Libya

16:41, June 24, 2011      

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China is taking a practical and constructive approach to the Libya issue by mediating between the two conflicting sides to help the country return to normal as soon as possible.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met Mahmoud Jibril, chairman of the Executive Board of Libya's opposition National Transitional Council (NTC), in Beijing Wednesday.

"Since its creation, the NTC has increased its representativeness and gradually become a major political force in Libya," Yang said.

He called on both sides to give priority to the interests of the country and the people, take into account the international community's mediation proposal, cease hostilities and resolve the crisis through political means.

Yang met with his Libyan counterpart Abdul Ati Al-Obeidi in Beijing on June 8, and also urged both sides to restore peace and stability in the country as quickly as possible.

Closer contact with Libya's two camps shows China is dedicated to helping seek a peaceful and quicker solution to the protracted civil strife in the North African country, which first broke out in mid-February.

The two sides are engaged in a destructive deadlock, and an earlier end to it will avoid more civilian casualties and property damage, and serve the fundamental interests of the country and the Libyan people.

The worsening humanitarian condition in Libya require both sides to sit down and talk for the sake of their own country and people.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting, and more than 750,000 have fled the Arabic country, according to UN estimates.

Last week, NATO, which launched the air strike against Libya on March 19, for the first time admitted a rogue missile killed "a number of" civilians, including children, in Tripoli, while the Libyan government said at least 9 civilians were killed.

From the beginning, China has abstained from voting on the UN Resolution 1973 on Libya, worrying it may be utilized as a tool by some countries to intervene in Libya's domestic issues and could lead to more civilian casualties.

China has recently stepped up efforts to persuade the two sides to seek a political solution to the lingering Libyan crisis.

China's Ambassador to Qatar, Zhang Zhiliang, met with NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Doha on June 2. Li Lianhe, a Chinese diplomat in Egypt, visited the opposition's headquarters in east Libya's Benghazi, where he met with Jalil and inspected the humanitarian situation and property of Chinese businesses.

Libya's prolonged civil war has posed serious threats to foreign investments, including those of China, in the country.

Closer contact with Libya's both sides will also help China assess the latest development in Libya more comprehensively, know the current condition of its investments and assets there more clearly, including uncompleted infrastructure projects and equipment, and better protect its lawful and justifiable investment interests there.

More than 35,000 Chinese citizens, mostly working in the engineering, infrastructure and energy sectors, have been evacuated from Libya since February due to the worsening situation there.

According to China's Ministry of Commerce, China was involved in 50 projects in Libya worth 18.8 billion U.S. dollars.

It is natural that China is keeping a close eye on its investment there.

During his meeting with Jibril, Yang said China is concerned the Libyan people are suffering from the chaos of war as the crisis continues.

He urged the two sides to "truly give peace a chance," saying "this will work for the fundamental interest of the Libyan people."

Source: Xinhua
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