China Urges Libya to Protect Existing Oil Investments

~II~ THE WATCHTOWERS ~II~

In light of the recent unrest and political changes in Libya, the Chinese regime is growing anxious over its existing deals in the tumultuous country. On Tuesday, China urged Libya to protect China’s investments there, after a Libyan rebel warned Chinese oil companies could lose out. The comments come after Libyan rebels said exports to China may be cut because Beijing did not support the rebellion against former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

During a news conference, the deputy head of the trade department of China’s Ministry of Commerce expressed hopes that existing trade deals in Libya would remain as is.

[Wen Zhongliang, Trade Dept., Chinese Ministry of Commerce]:
“As we all know, the situation in Libya has affected China’s investment activities in the country. We hope after a return to stability, Libya will continue to protect the interests and rights of Chinese investors and we hope to continue investment and economic cooperation with Libya in the future.”

Beijing has courted Libyan rebels, and earlier acknowledged Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council as an important political force in Libya. Since Monday, their flag was being flown at the Libyan Embassy in China.

Chinese state media Xinhua reported that as of last week, rebels have promised to honor existing trade deals. Libyan rebels also asked for China’s assistance when rebuilding happens.

Last year, Libya supplied three percent of China’s crude oil. Energy-hungry China is keen to keep this oil import relationship.

China has acknowledged that it will attempt to balance its trade.

[Wen Zhongliang, Trade Dept., Chinese Ministry of Commerce]:
“We want our trade to balance. Therefore, we will pay more attention to balancing development of imports and exports, and take effective measures to encourage imports in the future.”

China’s economy has long been focused on strong exports. However, continued strong exports are causing inflation back home, and drawing increased criticism that China is artificially suppressing its yuan currency.

 

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