Non-committal China urges return to order in Egypt

China urged a return to order in Egypt as soon as possible without openly taking sides in the unrest threatening President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Non-committal China urges return to order in Egypt

China urged a return to order in Egypt as soon as possible without openly taking sides in the unrest threatening President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

China's response reflects its traditional reluctance to criticise other governments in the developing world, as well as its limited sway in the Middle East, which is a major source of oil for the fast-growing Asian economy.

"China is paying very close attention to developments in Egypt," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on Sunday night (www.mfa.gov.cn).

"Egypt is a friend of China and we hope Egypt will return to social stability and normal order as soon as possible."

The statement came after Chinese websites restricted some micro-blog comment on the protests against Mubarak, who appears increasingly beleaguered in the face of the street protests and pressure from some foreign governments.

The United States, which has poured billions of dollars of aid into key intsrument Egypt, has stopped short of saying it wants Mubarak out, but President Barack Obama has urged an "orderly transition".

Chinese websites have disrupted searches for "Egypt" on micro-blogs in a sign that authorities may be worried that protests calling for political reform in Egypt could ripple out across the Asian power's Internet.

"Based on the relevant legal regulations and policies, search results cannot be displayed," said a statement on the popular Sina.com micro-blogging website (http://t.sina.com.cn), in response to searches for the Chinese word for Egypt.

But the censorship is not all-encompassing. Searches on that site and others also brought plenty of comments about the unrest, quite a few of them sympathetic to the Egyptian protests.

"We must clearly support this revolution," said one comment on Egypt on the popular Chinese Baidu.com message board.

"Will Mubarak become Deng Xiaoping?" said another comment, referring to the late Chinese leader who ordered soldiers to crush anti-government protests in Beijing in 1989.


Reuters

Last Mod: 31 Ocak 2011, 16:29
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