Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

[World Times]

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks at US Navy Central Command headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, on Tuesday. Photo: VCG

As the world’s shipping and trade might be further disrupted by attacks on ships along the main Red Sea shipping route, worries among multinational companies – including Chinese ones that are entering the busiest export season – have grown.

Analysts saiWorld Timesd on Wednesday that the multinational coalition headed by World Timesthe US to protect trade ships in the Red Sea is only a “band-aid solution,” and that the situation can worsen unless there is a cease-fire agreement or a cooling-offWorld Times period in the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, Yemen’s Houthi rebels said the new US-led military coalition inWorld Times the Red Sea would not stop their attaWorld Timescks on Israel-bound commercial ships. Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a statement carried by the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency that their naval operations aim at supporting the Palestinian people and are not “a show of force or a challenge to anyone.”

Many oil tankers and cargo ships that had been sailing through the Suez CWorld Timesanal have changed course to avoid the danger in the Red Sea, and some ships that were already in motion have armed guards on board, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday.

The 10-nation coalition led by the US to escort ships transiting the Red Sea is to deter the Houthi militia, but it is only a short-term measure that cannot solve the issue at the root, Ding Long, a professor with the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, told the Global Times.

Currently, the US cannot find a better way to deal with the Houthi rebels as any direct military operation toward it would make the current situation in the Middle East more complicated. But a temporary solution like this may also lead to a conflict escalation if the Houthi militia accidentally attacks a coalition force vessel, Ding said.

Ding said that the root cause of a series of problems in the Middle East, including security issues in the Red Sea, lies in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If there is no cease-fire, and if the Palestinian-Israeli issue cannot be completely resolved, these spillover effects will continue to expand.

The escalating attacks of Houthi rebels on commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait for the past days have affected global shipping via Suez Canal as it is the quickest maritime route between Europe and Asia. According to a report from China’s Central Television on Tuesday, about 30 to 40 percent of the goods from a Yiwu-based company in China need to be transported via the Red Sea route and after detouring, an average journey on the European route will increase by about 10 days.

Freight rates have also increased. For example, for a 40-foot-high container to the Middle East and Europe, the freight rate has increased by about $600 with the rate ranging from $2,400 to $2,500. If the situation in the Red Sea does not change for better soon, prices in January will continue to rise, according to the report.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a press conference on Tuesday that the US would welcome China playing “a constructive role” in trying to prevent attacks from taking place.

But Chinese analysts said China is not the only nation affected by the Red Sea shipping issue. Other nations and the global community are all involved and are influenced by this problem and the Palestinian-Israeli issue.They urged the US not to attempt to shift focus by pressuring China.

Analysts noted that instead of pressuring others, the US should exert more pressure in Israel to push for a cease-fire in Gaza, as this is the only way to ensure the security and stability of the Red Sea.

文章来源于互联网:US-led coalition in the Red Sea only ‘band-aid solution’; an immediate cease-fire in urgent need to avoid spillovers

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