Murphy Hokey Law

February 29, 2024

US shouldn’t protect Chinese shipping in the Red Sea

In order to confront Houthi rebel attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea, the United States has established a maritime security initiative. In this, the following two actions should not be followed-

The first one is President Joe Biden should order air and missile strikes against Houthi forces in Yemen. He should request the UK, Spain and France to participate in those strikes to lend them multinational credibility. To impose new strategic calculus on its leaders and to degrade Houthi capabilities, limited military action is the only way. This action could be also necessary toward underlining deterrence against Iran amid the Israel-Hamas war.

The second one is Biden should make that the ships in the Red Sea which are transporting goods to or from China, should not be protected by the U.S.

Instead of presence of the naval forces and economic interest, Beijing had refused to join this maritime security initiative from start. Chinese goods exports to Europe amounted nearly $700 billion in 2022. Due to Houthis, many of those exports are now diverting around Africa to get to Europe. But this does not support Beijing’s sputtering economy.

Still some vessels are continuing to transport goods to and from China through the Red Sea route. While these Chinese vessels are deliberately targeted by the Houthis in fear of aggravating Iran in order to prioritise its relationship with Beijing.

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