Wednesday, 8 June 2011

China drops Gaddafi

The CCP government never had much reason to be fond of him, they did not oppose Resolution 1973 authorising the use of force against the Gaddafi regime, and they voted for Resolution 1970 referring his government to the International Criminal Court. All the same, it is a little surprising that the PRC should agree to meet with the representatives of Libya's "rebellious provinces" before they have properly taken control of the entire country.

This is especially true in view of the PRC's intransigence elsewhere. China refused to recognise India's peaceful and consensual 1975 absorption of Sikkim until 2003, even insisting that Chinese maps should portray the country as still being independent years after it was voted out of existence by its own people.

Here's how Xinhua described the meeting:

""Chinese ambassador to Qatar Zhang Zhiliang has recently met with Chairman of the Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) Jalil and the two sides exchanged views on the Libyan situation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said when responding to a question from the press.

"China's position on the Libyan situation is clear, that is, we expect the Libyan crisis can be solved through political means and believe that Libya's future should be decided by its own people," Hong said."


Could this future now include the National Transitional Council taking power in some form? The answer, at least in the view of the Chinese government, would appear to be yes, and it is taking steps in this direction. It would also appear that meeting with the leader of an internal rebellion is not quite the crime PRC leaders make it out to be, at least when other countries are concerned.

4 comments:

justrecently said...

If the numbers of Chinese nationals who needed to be flown out of Libya (several hundreds, I seem to remember) are anything to go by, Libya is an important place for Chinese business. Too important to leave all the talks with the rebel government to the Americans and Europeans.

It would also appear that meeting with the leader of an internal rebellion is not quite the crime PRC leaders make it out to be, at least when other countries are concerned.
Wondering if this could mark a change in Chinese foreign policy anyway, but it's probably too early to tell.

FOARP said...

Actually, the number of Chinese citizens evacuated was in the tens of thousands, see here:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-03/03/c_13759456.htm

As for this being a change in foreign policy, it is probable that China, just like Russia, recognises that Gaddafi's game is up. Once the new rebel armies reach the battlefield, what's left of Gaddafi's forces will likely be routed. Gaddafi will likely either be killed by his own people, or blown up in his tent by a NATO bomb. Whilst I certainly had my doubts at the start of this, it now appears that NATO does now have the will to back the Rebels all the way to victory, and if this is acheived, then it will have been a job well done.

China's basic official policy of 'non-interference' however, will probably stay in place. The government relies on it to a great extent in it propaganda, and it is not clear whether open intervention would be a popular move.

justrecently said...

China's basic official policy of 'non-interference' however, will probably stay in place.

Propaganda is one thing...
Thanks for the update, re numbers of evacuees.

KingTubby said...

The number was 30,OOO.

Also love the fact that the PRC is now talking to the South Sudan govt. OIL.

Liked your other post, FOARP. Check out the comprehensive piece from Wired noted by Digital Times on this Ukranian rust bucket aircraft carrier.
God, my local media are stupid: reporting on the rise and rise of PRCs military machine and its blue water navy. The Chinese tug service will end up towing this bloody great lemon around the Pacific.