Libya and China seek greater economic ties

Libya and China seek greater economic ties

Libya was once a hotspot for Chinese investment. But the money flows came to a screeching halt after the 2011 death of Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war. 

During the crisis, more than 35,000 Chinese were pulled out of Libya making it the largest overseas evacuation since the foundation of Communist China, according to the South China Morning Post. 

Today, China is reportedly considering a return to the oil-rich country. 

In May, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah from Libya’s internationally recognized government based in Tripoli, met with top Chinese officials on the sidelines of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing. 

Premiere Li Qiang reportedly told Dbeibah that China was interested in a variety of infrastructure and development projects. 

“It is hoped that Libya will provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies,” Li said. 

Libyan media reported that discussions included the potential reopening of the Chinese embassy in Tripoli, a crucial step before resuming investment. 

Shaio Zerba, director of the Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies at the University of Mississippi told the South China Morning Post “Engaging in economic cooperation and infrastructure projects with Libya advances two Chinese goals – achieving energy security and increasing China’s influence in Africa.” 

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