Tamara Kovacs for THE NEW YORK TIMES
Tuesday September 23
In a brief interview with the delegate for China to the UN Security Council, the New York Times was able to obtain some insight into the view of the Chinese government on the matter of Libya.
On the previous day of discussion, China repeatedly called for efforts for peaceful negotiation, greater development, and suggested deploying cultural advisors to avoid causing offense in a proposed peaceful humanitarian aid operation.
NYT: Your earlier contributions to the working paper called for peaceful negotiation and ongoing development in Libya. Do you feel that this is adequately addressed in the draft resolution?
China: No, there are still serious issues with the resolution. It attempts to advocate for peaceful methods of resolving the violence, but ultimately it is now all about securing and removing oil assets from Libya, as happened previously in Iraq.
This will leave Libya in an underdeveloped state, and will further fuel the rhetoric of IS. The Chinese government feels that this destabilization will result in an even greater threat of terrorism from and within Libya in the future.
NYT: Is it the feeling of China that the recent actions by IS, such as the storming of Benghazi and Tripoli and the execution of an American journalist, are deliberate provocation by IS?
China: Yes. These actions by IS are a deliberate provocation intended to draw Western powers into open warfare, which will drive IS recruitment and rhetoric.
NYT: So, given the increased threat of IS expansion in Africa and the lack of peaceful actions directed in the resolution, what does the Chinese government feel is the threat to its citizens currently residing in the region?
China: It is the feeling of China that our citizens in Africa are in grave danger, and due to this we have begun recalling our workers to China. There are around 35,000 Chinese citizens in Africa, and we are assisting them to return to safety in China.