China calls on parties to play responsible role in easing Red Sea tensions-Xinhua

China calls on parties to play responsible role in easing Red Sea tensions

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-11 15:26:00

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called on relevant parties to play a constructive and responsible role in easing tensions in the Red Sea.

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), made the appeal in an explanation of the vote after the Security Council adopted Resolution 2722.

The resolution condemns the attacks by Yemen's Houthi militia on merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, affirms that the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by merchant and commercial vessels, in accordance with international law, must be respected, and takes note of the right of UN member states to defend their vessels from attacks in accordance with international law.

The resolution emphasizes the need to address the root causes, including the conflicts contributing to regional tensions and the disruption of maritime security, and calls for caution and restraint to avoid a further escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and the broader region.

"We call on the Houthis to abide by the provisions of the Security Council resolution and immediately stop its disturbances to the civilian vessels, and to respect the navigational freedoms of all countries in the Red Sea," said Zhang.

"We call on relevant parties to strictly abide by the UN Charter and international law, and play a constructive and responsible role in easing tensions in the Red Sea. No country should misinterpret or abuse relevant provisions in this resolution to create new tensions in the Red Sea," he said.

It must be noted that the current tensions in the Red Sea are one of the manifestations of the spillover effects of the conflict in Gaza; this is a fact that cannot be ignored, said Zhang.

Noting that it is the overriding prerequisite for everything else and a top priority for international diplomatic efforts, the envoy said China has repeatedly stressed the urgency of achieving an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

China regrets that Resolution 2722 fails to explicitly call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, he said.

Zhang said China will continue to work with other members of the Security Council and the international community to make unremitting efforts to promote the cessation of hostilities in Gaza, a de-escalation in the Red Sea, a political settlement of the Yemen issue, and the realization of peace and stability in the Middle East.

The Red Sea is an important shipping route for goods and energy products. Ensuring safe and unimpeded access to its waterways contributes not only to peace and stability in the region but also to maintaining a stable and smooth global supply chain and international trade order. This is in the common interests of the international community, said Zhang.

Therefore, China has been open to the idea that the Security Council takes further appropriate actions to safeguard the navigational rights of commercial vessels from all countries in the Red Sea in accordance with international law, he said.

China has participated constructively in consultations and proposed changes to the draft on relevant issues, together with Russia and Algeria. The draft has been improved. However, some proposed revisions were not incorporated and the draft remained ambiguous on several key issues, making China worry that the resolution might not be able to achieve its intended effect or even lead to the negative consequences of further escalating tensions in the region. Therefore, China had to abstain from the vote, said Zhang.