China ready to help Libya reconstruction

China is ready to help Libya rebuild after Moamer Kadhafi's downfall and it supports the United Nations taking a leading role in reconstruction efforts, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said Friday.

"It depends on the needs of the Libyan people themselves, whatever they need we will be willing to help them," Cui told reporters on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland.

Cui said that while the north African nation's first priority was restoring order after almost seven months of conflict, Beijing stood ready to offer assistance when the rebuilding began.

Asked what part the UN could play in the reconstruction, he replied: "We will support the United Nations to play a leading role", while also noting that any mission would first need approval from the UN Security Council.

China, which long helped prop up the Kadhafi regime, has extensive business interests in the north African state.

It has invested billions of dollars in rail, oil and telecoms in the country, and has commercial and strategic reasons for not wanting Western countries to exert too much influence there.

China is a major oil importer and needs to secure stable supplies of the resource to help keep its huge economy moving.

Libya produced about 1.6 million barrels of oil per day before the rebellion broke out, but output has since slowed to a trickle.

AFP

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