08/24/2011, 00.00
CHINA – LIBYA

Gaddafi’s fall threatens Chinese investments in Libya

Rebels could go back on ol contracts with Beijing because of the latter’s support for Gaddafi.
Beijing (AsiaNews/ Agencies) – China has called on Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) to protect the investments it made and the contracts it signed with the Gaddafi regime. On Monday, Abdelijalil Mayouf, a manager of the rebel-controlled Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) warned that China, Russia and Brazil in contrast to Western nations could face political obstacles in reverting back to business as usual once Gaddafi has been removed from power.

“China's investment in Libya, especially its oil investment, is one aspect of mutual economic co-operation between China and Libya, and this co-operation is in the mutual interest of both the people of China and Libya,” said Wen Zhongliang, deputy head of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce trade department.

In March, China and Russia abstained when UN Resolution 1973 was passed by the Security Council. The latter gave the green light to Operation ‘Odyssey Dawn” against Gaddafi. On that occasion, both nations said they were opposed to the war, urging NATO to seek a diplomatic resolution.

Conscious that Libya’s old regime is crumbling, Beijing has begun to woo the rebels. It has invited rebel leaders and sent diplomats to the rebel capital of Benghazi.

In recent months, Chinese authorities have also reiterated several times their support for the NTC, recognising it as the only credible partner.

In 2010, Libya provided China with 3 per cent of its oil needs.
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