The Biden administration, despite trying to flex US military muscle in the Middle East as an imperium in decline, is asking China to do its bidding when it comes to solving the Red Sea crisis.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will soon meet with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi in Thailand to discuss halting Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. It should be recalled that the Houthis declared they would give safe passage to all Chinese and Russian vessels in the Red Sea. “As for all other countries, including Russia and China, their shipping in the region is not threatened,” a Houthi statement declared earlier this month.
The US has long accused Tehran of supplying the Shia Yemeni rebel movement – an accusation that goes all the way back to 2015 and the start of the Yemeni civil war and subsequent years-long Saudi-led bombing campaign.
The Biden administration wants Beijing’s mediation toward getting Tehran to halt the weapons flows, given its friendly and closer ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby earlier this week (Tues.) said: “China has influence over Tehran; they have influence in Iran. And they have the ability to have conversations with Iranian leaders that—that we can’t.”
He continued: “And so, what we’ve said repeatedly is: We would welcome a constructive role by China, using the influence and the access that we know they have, to try to help stem the flow of weapons and munitions to the Houthis.”
So far, China has merely issued blanket appeals for all sides to exercise restraint: “China calls for a stop of causing disturbance to civilian ships, and urges relevant parties to avoid adding fuel to the fire in the Red Sea and jointly safeguard the safety of the Red Sea shipping route in accordance with the law,” a statement said.
The foreign ministry stressed that there’s been no UN authorization for use of force against Yemen, in a swipe at US-UK coalition attacks on the Houthis, which have come in some eight missile and airstrike waves so far.
China and Russia have been foremost among Washington’s powerful rivals to criticize Israel’s mass bombing of the Gaza Strip. They both have close ties with Iran, as well as with Assad’s Syria, and China is busy inking multi-billion dollar infrastructure and energy deals with Iraq. Of course, these ‘defiant’ countries are under US sanctions as well.
Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism pointed to the obvious absurdity and dilemma when it comes to asking for Chinese help:
“Before we go to war with them, or after?”
Raytheon CEO Explains Why China Has US Military By The Balls https://t.co/ZhosLrVZAE
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) June 21, 2023