Qaddafi’s imminent fall – some views from China

The Final Battle - front page of Peninsular Metropolitan News

The news coming out of Libya this morning has been reported without much commentary by Xinhua News Agency and most newspapers and websites in China. That has not stopped editors from using the news to sell papers; see for example the front page of the Qingdao newspaper Peninsular Metropolitan Newsillustrated with a large photo of armed rebels running past a burning car, and the bullet-riddled headline “FINAL BATTLE – Libyan rebels enter the capital” (online version here).

Press coverage of the Libyan civil war in China has been rather unenthusiastic about regime change since the protests that began on February 15 this year and spiraled into an armed conflict, and it’s likely that this tone will continue.

The Global Times, a tabloid that often takes an anti-Western stance has not yet published an editorial on the conflict but probably will do soon, judging from editor-in-chief Hu Xijin’s comments on his Weibo microblog. Here is one of them in translation (original here):

In today’s world of negotiation and compromise, Libya has a revolution even more bloody than those of the last century to change the country: this is unreasonable with respect to history.

In this “final battle” for Tripoli, Gaddafi has already been forced into the position of either dying while fighting, or ending up being hanged.

When Western countries can help Libya to make choices, they always help them to make the choice with the highest cost.

The Global Times‘ website has been running a poll, asking the question “Can Qaddafi’s fall bring stability to Libya?”.

At the time of writing, 351 people or 12% of those polled think that Qaddafi’s fall may lead to stability, while 2,640 people or 88% disagree. This fits in with The Global Times‘ usual readership and editorial thinking that sees stability as key.

The comments to the poll however display a variety of attitudes, although some commenters appear to have misunderstood how to vote. Here some of the comments in translation: translated

Agree that Qaddafi’s fall can lead to stability

However it happens, the destruction of Qaddafi’s dictatorship is the greatest victory.

If Qaddafi doesn’t fall from power, things can only get worse. It will get better after he falls, but it might take a long time.

Qaddafi falling from power can bring stability to Libya.

This is how history makes progress.

It’s just like Afghanistan

It’s just like Iraq

The Libyan opposition is just a mob, they have no ability to administer a country, so they will not bring stability to Libya.

All despots have the common understanding that only despotism can maintain stability.

Disagree that Qaddafi’s fall can lead to stability

It might be the start of even more chaos.

For reference, see Iraq.

The opposition’s occupation just means the start of a long period of civil strife!

Afghanistan and Iraq are concrete examples.

It’s like Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia: it will never be stable.

Because the so-called opposition are just running dogs of the Americans, whatever the boss tells them to do, they’ll do. In the end the people will overthrow them, they’ll use guns like in Iraq and expel the invaders.

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