BEIJING (Reuters) - China urged a "stable transition of power" in Libya and said it is in contact with the rebel National Transition Council, in the clearest sign yet that Beijing has effectively shifted recognition to rebel forces poised to defeat Muammar Gaddafi.
China "respects the choice of the Libyan people and hopes for a stable transition of power," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Zhaoxu said in a statement issued on the ministry's website (www.mfa.gov.cn) on Wednesday.
"We have always attached significance to the important role of the National Transitional Council in solving Libya's problems, and maintain contact with it," Ma said, referring to the main Libyan rebel group at war with Gaddafi's shrinking forces.
"We hope that the future new government will adopt effective measures, draw together the forces of different factions, and restore social order as quickly as possible," said Ma.
(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)