The Chinese regime has long had business ties with Libya. But with former dictator Muammar Gaddafi ousted, China has fallen out of favor. Now, China's Foreign Ministry is refusing to acknowledge the new Libyan government. Here's the story.
Earlier this week, secret documents were discovered revealing the Chinese regime attempted to break U.N. sanctions by selling weapon stockpiles to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Just days after this discovery, China's Foreign Ministry announced that they will recognize Libya's new National Transitional Council (quote,) "when conditions are ripe."
After months of bloody civil war, rebel forces in Libya ousted Gaddafi and set up the National Transitional Council, or NTC. While most Western powers have recognized the NTC as Libya's legitimate authority, the Chinese Communist Party has not.
[Jiang Yu, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman]: (mandarin, female) "Our channels of communication with the National Transitional Council are open. I want to point out that the unrest in Libya is temporary, but friendship between China and Libya is long-term."
It has been a delicate balancing act for the CCP. China is the world's second-biggest oil consumer. Last year, the Chinese regime imported three percent of its crude from Gaddafi controlled Libya.
[Jiang Yu, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman]: (mandarin, female) "We hope that Libya can respect China's existing trade contracts and take real measures to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and assets inside Libya. We are willing to make contributions to Libya's post-war reconstruction within our power."
The NTC has promised rewards for countries that helped in the revolt against Gaddafi. The CCP, with its history of supporting Gaddafi, may now be at a disadvantage.