China Changes Its Attitude Towards Libyan Rebels

After hesitating on how to deal with the insurgency of Jamahiriya, China is now in contact with the National Transitional Council (NTC). Yesterday, China called for “a stable transition of power” in Libya. Beijing seems now ready to consider the rebels as the legitimate representatives of their country. A surprising change in position because until recently, China kept its distance from the rebellion.

In fact, Beijing fears that the regime change alters its interests. Before the conflict, China imported 150,000 barrels of Libyan oil each day, about 3% of its imports. And before they took power, the rebels warned the country that supported them halfway. Apart from the preservation of its oil interests, Beijing is willing to work alongside the United Nations “to promote a rapid stabilization in Libya and a rapid evolution towards reconciliation and reconstruction,” according to the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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