China's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) on Tuesday called for adherence to a political settlement of the Libyan crisis and proper handling of sanctions against the country.
"There is a need to stick to a political solution. China has always believed that the Libyan issue must be settled through political means," Ma Zhaoxu told the Security Council.
"We hope that parties to the conflict in Libya will put the interests of the country and the people first, respond to the calls of the international community for a cease-fire as soon as possible, ease the tensions and return to the path of settlement through peaceful dialogue and consultation."
He added that the safety and security of civilians must be protected and the humanitarian situation in the country must be improved.
While the sanctions on Libya should continue to be enforced, they must be properly handled so that they do not negatively impact civilians, the Chinese envoy said.
"We have always believed that sanctions are not an end, but rather a means. They should always serve the purposes of a political solution to the problems at hand," Ma said.
"The sanctions should not jeopardize the overall interests of Libya as a nation and should not undermine the normal life and humanitarian needs of Libyans," Ma said.
The Chinese ambassador asked for synergy of international efforts toward a political settlement in Libya.
The international community should respect Libya's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. The countries of influence should push for resolution of differences among the parties, help build trust and provide constructive assistance to the parties to achieve a cease-fire and return to political dialogue, he said.
Ma also stressed the need for coordination of efforts. China supports the promotion of the political settlement process in Libya under the leadership of the United Nations, he said. China also supports the active role of regional organizations such as the African Union, and hopes that the mechanisms will fully leverage their advantages and enhance coordination and cooperation.
Since early April, military conflicts that broke out around Tripoli have resulted in heavy casualties, an increasing number of refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons. Terrorist activities are re-emerging. All these undermine Libya's political security and socio-economic stability and development, the Chinese ambassador said.
The situation also has a spillover effect to the Sahel region and the Mediterranean coast, he warned.
China is highly concerned about the developments in Libya. The international community should heighten its attention to Libya and work together to push for an early solution to the Libyan crisis, he said.
China is willing to work with the international community to contribute to Libya's lasting peace and stability, he said.
In his briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday, Ghassan Salame, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Libya, said the country is on the verge of civil war.
"Libya is on the verge of descending into a civil war, which could lead to the permanent division of the country. The damage already done will take years to mend, and that's only if the war is ended now," said Salame.