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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Red Sea

2024-01-03 23:40

Mr. President. 

At the outset, I would like to congratulate France on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council. Ambassador, you and your colleagues can count on the full cooperation of the Chinese delegation. We would also like to congratulate Ecuador on the successful completion of its Presidency of the Council last month. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to welcome the new members, Algeria, Guyana, the Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, and Slovenia. I believe that they will contribute to the better fulfillment of the Council's responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security. 

Mr. President, 

I thank Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari and IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez for their respective briefings. 

The Red Sea is an important international transportation route for goods and energy. Ensuring unimpeded access to the waterway and the safety of passing vessels contributes not only to the security and stability of the region, but also to global supply chain security and the maintenance of international trade order. Doing so serves the common interests of the international community. China expresses its concerns over the recent attacks on and seizures of commercial vessels in the Red Sea. We call on the relevant party to cease assaulting civilian ships and respect and protect the freedom of navigation of all countries in the Red Sea. We believe that all parties, especially major countries with influence, need to play a constructive and responsible role in keeping the shipping lanes safe in the Red Sea. 

Currently, the Yemen issue is at a critical juncture. The tensions in the Red Sea have posed new challenges to the political process in Yemen and brought additional complexity to an already volatile Middle East. We call on all parties concerned to remain calm, exercise restraint, stay committed to dialogue and consultation, promote a political settlement, refrain from taking any actions that may aggravate tensions, and do their utmost to maintain the positive momentum of the Yemeni political process. 

Mr. President, 

The current tensions in the Red Sea are one of the manifestations of the spillover effects of the conflict in Gaza. Only by achieving an early ceasefire in Gaza and easing the humanitarian crisis on the ground, can we avert any further escalation in the Red Sea and prevent other parts of the Middle East from being embroiled in conflicts and wars. China stays committed to working with all parties to make unremitting efforts to promote de-escalation in the Red Sea, a political settlement of the Yemen issue, the cessation of hostilities in Gaza, and long-lasting peace and stability in the Middle East. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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