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China patches up with Libyan rebels

China has urged Libya to protect its investments after a rebel member was quoted as saying the new regime would have problems working with countries that did not back the rebel movement from the beginning of the uprising.

Reuters reported an official of the National Transitional Council (NTC) at a Libyan oil firm in control of the rebels as saying: “We don't have a problem with western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil."

China has responded by calling on the NTC to protect its investments and pointed out that the agreements in place would benefit both countries.

"China's investment in Libya, especially its oil investment, is one aspect of mutual economic cooperation between China and Libya, and this cooperation is in the mutual interest of both the people of China and Libya," said Wen Zhongliang, deputy head of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s trade department, in response to a question by journalists in Beijing on Tuesday.

"We hope that after a return to stability in Libya, Libya will continue to protect the interests and rights of Chinese investors and we hope to continue investment and economic cooperation with Libya," said Wen.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua last week quoted NTC Vice-President Abdel Hafidh Ghoga reaffirming Libya’s commitment to all deals and contracts made between the Gaddafi regime and China.

“The NTC welcomes Chinese enterprises back to the country to complete existing projects” he said.

“All deals and contracts signed earlier will be examined to see whether there is any corruption” he added.

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