财新传媒
位置:博客 > 闾丘露薇 > 中国必须更加灵活的和正在发生民主变革的国家打交道

中国必须更加灵活的和正在发生民主变革的国家打交道

贴一篇为SCMP(南华早报)写的文章,周二已经见报

Beijing must deal more flexibly with nations in flux
--------------

Sitting in the lobby of the Uzu Hotel in the rebel-held city of Benghazi, a day before demonstrations to appeal to China to shift its support from the Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, to the rebels, I felt rather awkward.

 As a Chinese national, I was a perfect target for a lecture  from a local about why Gaddafi should be cast aside, and how unwise and unjust it was for China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to support his regime.  Adding to that was a big poster on a wall of the High Court, saying, in Chinese: “Muammar Gaddafi is a liar”.

China’s – and Russia’s – abstention in the vote on resolution 1973 (that formed the legal basis for military intervention in the Libyan civil war) was a rare exception, according to their UN Security Council record. Yet Libyans still feel bitter  about it, regarding it as a lack of support for the just actions of the people. 

About five weeks ago, the National Transitional Council  asked Beijing to send a working team, as the US had done, and to  send an envoy to Beijing. When they didn’t receive any response,  the NTC didn’t give up on China: they sent people to protect all Chinese project sites and property. An official said they would respect all the contracts signed with the Gaddafi government. 

While China remained silent,  Russia got busy. A meeting was held in Moscow and the NTC was formally recognised as the legitimate interlocutor, leaving China as the only one of the five permanent members of UN Security Council who refuses to have any contact with the NTC . 

 

Beijing has long held the diplomatic principle of not interfering in other country’s internal affairs. Now it might be time to change the rules. Elastic and appropriate engagement might be a suitable new strategy in the Libyan case.

The alternative is   the prospect of China losing its economic interests in a new Libya, including oil contracts, government rebuilding deals, etc. Before the rebel uprising, China had more than 35,000 workers in Libya and plenty of unfinished projects and contracts.

Chinese are very experienced in dealing with undemocratic nations.  It is often more efficient to cut a deal with a government than through fair market competition.

China’s investment strategy in African and other developing nations has been to ignore human rights and other so-called political issues, while focusing on economic interests and development.  It seems to have proved quite successful for a long time. The Arabic spring has rung the changes. Faced with this, China has to make some adjustments to its principles and mindset to secure its investment interests in such countries.

During an interview two days after the demonstration, the NTC vice-prime minister told me that they wanted to establish a communication channel with China and explain the situation. The NTC would honour all existing contracts; supporting the NTC was not only important to the Libyan people, but also to China itself, he said. “At least for the sake of protecting Chinese interests here, the Chinese government should start to talk to us. Our future policy is clear. We will prefer to co-operate with those who help us when we are in difficult times. So the time for action is now.” 

After the interview was broadcast, the Chinese foreign ministry openly expressed its willingness to talk to all parties – including the NTC. Finally, the government seemed to be showing some signs of adjusting its rigid stance. “Government comes and goes, but the people will always be here. This country belongs to the people not Gaddafi,” A young Libyan man told me.

It is hard to figure out why Beijing didn’t act sooner, like other countries. Accepting the NTC’s invitation of discussions doesn’t mean abandoning Tripoli. Keeping contact with both sides can offer a lot of advantages at this stage; indeed, a flexible diplomatic strategy is common practice today. It will be worth watching what Beijing’s next step will be.

 

Rose Luqiu Luwei is a Hong Kong TV journalist, columnist and blogger

 

 



推荐 15