INTERNATIONAL

China says it respects Libyan people's choice

China on Monday said it “respects the Libyan people's decision” and wished a quick return to stability in Libya, even as Beijing's biggest state-run oil company announced it had terminated projects in the country as a result of political turbulence.

As clashes between Libyan rebels and government forces continued in Tripoli on Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was ready to play a positive role in Libya's reconstruction, adding it hoped for a return to stability as soon as possible.

It said China respected the choice of the Libyan people but refrained from saying whether or not China was in favour of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi stepping down.

The Communist Party-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial on Monday that Mr. Qadhafi choosing to step down may avoid “much tragedy”. The newspaper, however, added the world needed to “create the right conditions for this to happen”.

Projects

In June, Chinese officials also initiated contact with rebel leaders of the National Transitional Council in Benghazi, with the Chinese Ambassador in Egypt reportedly seeking the rebels' assurances on on-going Chinese projects in the country.

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