Beijing has formally recognized the National Transitional Council as Libya’s official government following weeks of rising tensions between the rebel party and China, the Wall Street Journal reported. The country was the last permanent member of the US Security Council to recognize the NTC, though a number of large countries have yet to do so. “China respects the choice of the Libyan people and attaches great importance to the status and the role of the NTC, and has kept close contact with it,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Ties have been strained in recent weeks by evidence that Chinese weapons manufacturers met in July with representatives from Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. Foreign ministry officials confirmed the meeting, but insisted that no arms were sold. Chinese companies had invested more the US$18 billion in Libya before the conflict, mostly in infrastructure projects.