China recognizes Libya's NTC as ruling authority, representative of people

China on Monday officially recognized the National Transition Council (NTC) of Libya as the ruling authorities and representative of the Libyan people.

"China respects the choice of the Libyan people and attaches great importance to the status and the role of NTC, and has kept in close contact with it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a written statement.

The announcement was made as the NTC has controlled most part of the North African nation following a six-month civil war and about 70 countries have recognized the legitimacy of the council.

"China will work with the NTC to realize a steady and smooth transition and development of bilateral ties," Ma said, stressing China hopes that all the treaties and agreements inked previously with Libya will remain effective and be implemented seriously.

According to the spokesman, the NTC leadership are "delighted with the result that has long been expected."

The NTC attaches great importance to China's status and role, and will strictly abide by all the existing treaties and agreements, firmly adhere to the one-China policy, Ma said, citing a representative of the NTC leadership.

"Libya welcomes China to engage in the country's reconstruction and jointly push forward the steady and sustained development of bilateral ties," said the representative who was not named in the statement.

Zheng Xiwen, a local observer on international affairs, commented that the decision came as conditions are ripe.

"The water is flowing and a channel has been formed," Zheng said, echoing Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu's remarks last week, when she said China's recognition requires a process of "when water flows, a channel is formed."

The NTC has controlled the most part of Libya and won widespread recognition and support from the Libyan people, Zheng said.

"China's policy on Libya has been constant, whether when (Muammar) Gaddafi was in power or after the situation turned into turmoil," Zheng said in a signed article posted on the website of Xinhua (www.xinhuanet.com).

"The policy is aimed at preserving bilateral ties and peace, stability and development in the region, instead of seeking certain interests or supporting certain people or regime," Zheng said.

China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, abstained from voting on the UN 1973 resolution in March, which decided to establish a No-Fly Zone in Libya.

"On the voting, China respected the stands of the League of Arab States and the African Union, and considered the unity of the international community," Zheng said.

Meanwhile, China stood against some Western countries's violent interference on Libya's domestic affairs by using force, Zheng said.

Even during the war, China invited representatives of the two rivals to Beijing and strived to broker a peaceful solution, and provided humanitarian aid to the Libyan people.

On the Libya issue, many emerging developing countries maintained close contact with China and shared similar views, he said, without naming those countries.

Although the NTC once voiced some "improper words" on China-Libya relationship, China noticed that the NTC had expressed its high expectation for the development of bilateral ties, Zheng said.

China also kept in contact with the NTC as the latter is seeking for international support, and China is always advocating for UN's leading role on the matter, Zheng said.

In August, Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun attended the "Friends of Libya" international conference in Paris, representing the Chinese government as an observer.

Vice President Xi Jinping said earlier this month that China supports the United Nation's leading role in solving the issue of Libya.

"We believe that the NTC, which bears the task of leading the Libyan people to end the war, restore order and rebuild home, will develop friendly cooperation with various countries, instead of just following the orders of some certain countries," Zheng said.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 12Sep11]

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