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China Freeloading in the Red Sea Crisis: U.S. and UK Analysts

A U.S. fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier near the Red Sea readies for take off to launch a counter-attack on Houthi targets in Yemen as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian. Image via @centcom.

There is mounting criticism in the United States and Britain over China’s apparent unwillingness to participate in multinational efforts to confront Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen over pirate attacks that have brought commercial maritime traffic in the Red Sea to a near-standstill.

Geopolitical analysts on both sides of the Atlantic are somewhat puzzled that China isn’t more engaged, given that 60% of Chinese trade with Europe, one of its largest trading partners, passes through the Suez Canal and that shipping costs have surged as a result of the conflict — both potentially very troubling factors for China’s faltering economy.

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