West must 'clear up its mess' in Libya

AFP , Tuesday 23 Aug 2011

Cautiously silent China speaks up to frown upon the sensationalism during Gaddafi's overthrow and say that now the West must rebuild Libya, with China as a willing partner

China's state media said Tuesday the West has a responsibility to "clear up its mess" in Libya after rebels overran the capital Tripoli and declared the Gaddafi era over.

The Global Times said the future of the North African country lay in the hands of the Western countries that have backed a NATO campaign against veteran strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

"Overthrowing Gaddafi is entertainment for the media, but talk of rebuilding is not," the conservative English-language daily said in an editorial.

"The West has to take responsibility for clearing up its mess in Libya."

The newspaper did not specifically mention any country. Western nations including Britain, France and the United States have thrown diplomatic and financial support behind the Libyan opposition's National Transitional Council (NTC).

"There are too many places in the world that need to be rebuilt right now," it said.

"The West is going through economic hardship now, and it is doubtful whether it can stand the Libyan burden."

The China Daily, the English-language sister paper to the Communist Party mouthpiece The People's Daily, echoed a call by the Chinese government for stability and called for national reconciliation to avoid "chaos in Libya.

"The relevant parties in Libya must end the war and restore peace as soon as possible," the newspaper said in an editorial.

"This is both for the fundamental interest of all Libyans and conducive to the political stability of North Africa and the Middle East," it said.

China initially maintained a policy of non-interference and public neutrality on the conflict in Libya, calling multiple times for a peaceful end to the popular uprising.

But in recent months it has become more involved in the crisis, and Chinese officials have met several times with members of the NTC.

On Monday, China's foreign ministry said it "respects the Libyan people's choice" after rebels entered Tripoli, urging a return to stability.

"China is willing to work with the international community to play a constructive role in the future reconstruction of Libya," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a brief statement.

Chinese economic interests in Libya include oil, railway and telecoms projects.

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