China cool on military intervention in Libya

China said that Libya`s territorial integrity must be respected and that the UN Security Council must decide future international moves as speculation mounts over potential NATO military action.

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2011, 21:48 PM IST

Beijing: China on Thursday said that Libya`s
territorial integrity must be respected and that the UN
Security Council must decide future international moves as
speculation mounts over potential NATO military action.

"As for the situation in Libya, we believe that the
discussions of relevant United Nations institutions should be
conducive to restoring stability to Libya," foreign ministry
spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

"We need to respect Libya`s sovereignty and
territorial unity," she added, when asked for China`s position
on the possibility of military strikes or the imposition of a
no-fly zone.

The US Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a symbolic
resolution urging the world to consider imposing a no-fly zone
over Libya to prevent embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi from
launching air strikes against his people.

Gaddafi, who has lost huge swathes of his North
African country to opposition forces seeking to overthrow him
after 41 years in power, has warned "thousands" would die if
the West launched a military intervention.

The US government also has expressed caution about
that possibility.

In testimony to the US Senate yesterday, Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton warned that any US intervention would be
"controversial" both within Libya and the broader Arab
community.

The Chinese spokeswoman said: "As for the next step,
it depends on developments in the Libyan situation and the
consultations of United Nations Security Council members."

PTI