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China calls for immediate ceasefire in Libya

22 Mar

BEIJING (AP) — China called Tuesday for an immediate ceasefire in Libya where the U.S. and European nations have launched punishing airstrikes to enforce a U.N. no-fly zone.

  • Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu reiterates China's opposition to the use of force in Libya as the U.S. and allied air assault continues against Gadhafi's forces.
    By Frederic J.Brown, AFP/Getty Images
    Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu reiterates China’s opposition to the use of force in Libya as the U.S. and allied air assault continues against Gadhafi’s forces.

By Frederic J.Brown, AFP/Getty Images

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu reiterates China’s opposition to the use of force in Libya as the U.S. and allied air assault continues against Gadhafi’s forces.

All parties must “immediately ceasefire and resolve issues through peaceful means,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regularly scheduled news conference, citing unconfirmed reports that the airstrikes had caused civilian deaths.

China was one of five countries that abstained from last week’s vote on the U.N. resolution to allow “all necessary measures” to stop Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi‘s assault on rebel-held towns. It was approved with the backing of the United States, France and Britain.

Beijing has been sharply critical of the airstrikes that hit Libyan air defenses and forces for a third night Monday. The Foreign Ministry registered “serious reservations” about the resolution, and on Monday the country’s most important political newspaper compared the Western airstrikes against Libya to the U.S.-led invasions in Iraqand Afghanistan.

In places such as Iraq “the unspeakable suffering of its people are a mirror and a warning,” the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, People’s Daily, said in a commentary.

China has historically opposed foreign military interventions as part of its long-standing policy of staying out of countries’ internal affairs.

(Read more)

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