shipping yemen
© Houthi Military Media/Handout via REUTERSFILE PHOTO: The Galaxy Leader cargo ship is escorted by Houthi boats in the Red Sea in this photo released November 20, 2023.
The United States has asked China to urge Tehran to rein in the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea but has seen little sign of help from Beijing, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing U.S. officials.

The U.S. has repeatedly raised the matter with top Chinese officials in the past three months, the report said.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his deputy, Jon Finer, discussed the issue in meetings this month in Washington with Liu Jianchao, head of the International Liaison Department of China's Communist Party, the newspaper said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart, the report said, adding U.S. officials believe there was little evidence that China had put any pressure on Iran to restrain the Houthis beyond a mild statement Beijing issued last week.

Comment: So the US is lamely building a case to blame China?

Earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. military carried out strikes in Yemen, destroying two Houthi anti-ship missiles that were aimed at the Red Sea and were preparing to launch.

On Monday, U.S. and British forces carried out a round of strikes in Yemen, targeting a Houthi underground storage site as well as missile and surveillance capabilities used by the Iran-aligned group against Red Sea shipping.

Comment: And the Houthis recently responded to US aggression, exposing US weakness in the process:
CENTCOM admits that one of the Houthis' tactical ballistic missiles - undemanding targets as far as such things go - got through the Gravely's interceptors. What they neglected to mention was that it struck about a hundred meters from the Maersk Detroit, and that after the attack the convoy aborted the transit and retreated back into the Arabian Sea rather than press on into enemy fire.


Was this operational plan inadequate? Almost certainly - reading between the lines, it reeks of a complacent assumption that Houthi missile batteries had actually been suppressed by a few rounds of air raids and that a single AEGIS destroyer could handle anything the Houthis could throw at them with no need for additional contingency planning. In the event neither of these assumptions were correct - and because of it a convoy covered by one of the US Navy's premier warships retreated from a battle that was going badly.

The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping and stoked fears of global inflation. They have also deepened concern that fallout from the Israel-Hamas war could destabilize the Middle East.