China voices 'serious reservations' on Libya no-fly decision

"We oppose the use of force in international relations and have some serious reservations with part of the resolution," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement here today.

Jiang's comments came after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution which authorised a no-fly zone over Libya yesterday.

The resolution also called for "all necessary measures," excluding ground troops, to "protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack" in Libya, "including Benghazi," a key eastern city currently held by the rebels.

"Considering the concern and stance of Arab countries and the Africa Union as well as the special situation in Libya, China and some countries abstained from voting on the draft resolution," Jiang said.

Apart from China, Russia, Brazil, Germany and India the three non-permanent Council members, also abstained from voting on the draft resolution.

"We support the commitment of the UN Secretary General's special envoy for Libya, the Africa Union and Arab League to deal with the current crisis in Libya in a peaceful way," Jiang said.

China which has strong business links with the oil rich Gulf and African countries treaded carefully ever since the "Jasmine" protests broke out in Tunisia and Egypt.
China recently evacuated over 35,000 of its workers in what was regarded as the largest evacuation operation.

Observers here say that it was significant that China, a permanent member of the UNSC along with Russia has not exercised its veto right to over rule the resolution as it was backed by Arab league.

Jiang in her statement said China has always maintained that actions of the UN Security Council should follow the objective and principle of the UN Charter and international laws, respect Libya's sovereignty, independence, unification and territorial integrity, Jiang said.
"The current crisis in Libya should be resolved through dialogue and by other peaceful means," she said.

"We expect Libya to restore stability at an early date and avoid an escalation of armed conflicts and worsening humanitarian crisis," Jiang said.

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