Canada Urges China to Help Resolve Red Sea Crisis and Rein in Houthi Attacks
Canada Urges China to Help Resolve Red Sea Crisis and Rein in Houthi Attacks

In a bid to tackle the escalating crisis in the Red Sea, Canada's Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly, has called upon China to use its influence to keep the vital trade route safe. Joly emphasized the importance of China's involvement, noting that Chinese vessels are also vulnerable to the threats posed by the ongoing conflict. Speaking during a bilateral meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Joly underscored the necessity for Beijing to urge the Houthi rebels to cease their actions that disrupt maritime traffic in the region.

"It's in China's interests as an exporter," Joly remarked during an interview at the Munich Security Conference, highlighting the mutual benefit of ensuring stability in the Red Sea for global commerce.

The Red Sea has witnessed a series of attacks on commercial ships by Yemen's Houthi rebels, including the recent targeting of the oil tanker M/T Pollux, which was reportedly struck by a missile. These incidents have not only endangered maritime traffic but also led to increased shipping costs and insurance premiums, affecting trade between Asia and Europe, where China plays a significant role.

Attributing their attacks to support for Palestinians in Gaza, the Houthi actions have drawn condemnation from the United States and Britain, both of which have urged China to leverage its ties with Iran to rein in the rebel group.

In addition to addressing the Red Sea crisis, Joly also raised concerns with Wang regarding the enforcement of Western sanctions against Russia amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Emphasizing the need to exert maximum pressure on Russia, Joly stressed the importance of preventing loopholes in the sanction system, which could undermine international efforts.

The meeting between Joly and Wang comes against the backdrop of strained relations between China and Canada, stemming from the arrest of a Chinese telecommunications executive by Canadian authorities in late 2018. Subsequent arrests of two Canadians in China on spying charges further exacerbated tensions between the two nations. Last year, Canada's parliament launched investigations into alleged Chinese interference in its elections, a claim vehemently denied by China, further straining bilateral relations.

Wang acknowledged the need to rebuild trust between China and Canada following years of diplomatic tensions, signaling a potential thaw in relations between the two countries.

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