Beijing says it has received assurances from Libya's transitional government that it will uphold all contracts and agreements signed with China before the toppling of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. China formally recognised the National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's 'ruling authority' on Monday, making it the final permanent member of the UN Security Council to do so. 'The NTC has agreed to firmly abide by the one-China policy and all the existing treaties and agreements with China,' Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said yesterday. But China was still seeking more information before it would change its stance on releasing Libya's frozen assets. China has long been accused by the Libyan rebels of bargaining hard to protect its substantial investments in Libya and obstructing the release of assets frozen since the start of the conflict in mid-February. Jiang denied there were strings attached to China's sudden change of mind. But its decision to join the Western powers in recognising the Libyan opposition that ousted Gaddafi has surprised many. 'We have made judgments based on the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Libya and the principle of respecting the Libyan people's choice,' she said. She said Beijing 'would like to promote the stable transition and continuous development of China-Libya relations'. Jiang played down the suggestion that China, with its economic clout and huge investments in Libyan infrastructure, should take on a key role in rebuilding the country. She reiterated the UN should lead assistance. Analysts said Beijing's belated decision to recognise the NTC came after the country faced mounting pressure in recent weeks to clarify its position on Libya. China's image was tarnished after The Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada reported that Chinese arms makers held talks with Gaddafi's representatives in July on secret weapon sales. Although the ministry last week denied any knowledge of the talks and insisted no deals were signed and no arms were shipped, analysts said it further strained Beijing's ties with the NTC. State media yesterday fiercely defended Beijing's decision amid widespread criticism of China's 'fence-sitting', 'moral ambiguity' and 'hypocrisy'. A commentary issued by Xinhua said the recognition of the NTC came simply because 'conditions are ripe', echoing Jiang's comments on Tuesday last week explaining why China had waited so long to embrace the rebels. But Professor Pang Zhongying, an expert in international relations at Beijing's Renmin University, said China's delay in backing the NTC was apparently due to its reluctance to accept the fact the Libyan rebels overthrew the Gaddafi regime by force, and what that might imply for its own domestic stability.