Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, at a UN Security Council Meeting on the Situation in the Red Sea

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January 12, 2023

Ambassador Zhang Jun expressed grave concern over the launch of strikes against the Houthis by the United Kingdom and the United States.  His country called repeatedly on the Houthis to immediately cease their attacks and harassments on commercial vessels and respect the navigation rights of the commercial vessels of all countries.

Beijing also calls upon all parties, particularly major countries with influence, to play a constructive and responsible role and work together to maintain the safety and security of the shipping lanes in the Red Sea.

Expressing regret over the latest military actions against Yemen, he observed that they destructed infrastructure and caused civilian casualties. They also heightened security risks in the Red Sea and risked undermining the ongoing political process.

The Council has never authorized any State to use force.

Their military actions are at odds with Council resolution 2722 (2024).

No country shall misinterpret or abuse international law.  China sees the tension in the Red Sea as a spillover from the conflict in Gaza.

Calling for the prevention of spillover of the conflict while adding fuel to the fire by provoking military confrontation is self-contradictory and irresponsible.

The Middle East is already on the brink of extreme danger, he warned, declaring: “The last thing we need at this stage is reckless military adventurism, and the first thing we need is calm and restraint.”

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