08/22/2011 10:23 am ET | Updated Oct 22, 2011

China: ‘We Will Respect Libya's Choices'

China will respect the choice of the Libyan people and hopes that the situation there stabilizes quickly, the country's Foreign Ministry has said today as rebel forces battle for Tripoli.

The Chinese government may maintain publicly that it doesn't interfere in other nations' internal affairs, but it has been careful to hedge its bets over the unfolding civil conflict in Libya. It surprised many, for example, when it announced in June that it would receive envoys from the anti-government Libyan rebels, a shift from its usual position of only engaging with the recognized governments of other states on political issues. This followed the equally surprising move by Beijing to abstain from a UN vote on military action, rather than vetoing it.

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