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China urges restraint in Red Sea, calls for end to attacks on commercial shipping

Source: Xinhua | 2024-04-16
China urges restraint in Red Sea, calls for end to attacks on commercial shipping

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday voiced concerns about rising tensions in the Red Sea, urging the Houthis to acknowledge the navigation rights of commercial vessels from all nations in the Red Sea and to promptly halt any related attacks.

During a briefing at the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Yemen, Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, highlighted the complex and daunting situation in Yemen. "All parties concerned should adhere to the general direction of political settlement," Geng said, emphasizing the need for a Yemeni-led political process.

He urged restraint and collaboration among all stakeholders to "create a favorable atmosphere for the political process."

"We call on the parties concerned to exercise restraint and refrain from actions that might exacerbate tensions," said Geng, underscoring the necessity for peaceful navigation and the immediate cessation of hostilities affecting commercial shipping.

Moreover, Geng reiterated China's position that "the Security Council has never authorized any country to use force against Yemen," and warned against the misuse of international law and UN Security Council resolutions by any country.

Addressing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Geng described the dire conditions resulting from the nine-year conflict, which has devastated critical infrastructure and plunged over 80 percent of the population into poverty. "More than 4.5 million school-aged children are unable to attend school," he added, calling on the international community to "increase its investment in Yemeni humanitarian and development efforts."

The envoy also linked the tension in the Red Sea with the ongoing conflict in Gaza, criticizing the continuation of hostilities despite UN Security Council Resolution 2728's explicit demand for a ceasefire.

"Israel should fulfill in good faith its obligations as a member state of the UN," he said, urging Israel to cease its military attacks on Gaza and its collective punishment of the Palestinians.

In conclusion, Geng supported further actions by the Security Council in response to developments on the ground, stressing the global importance of stability in the region.