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China 'does not approve' of new Houthi government Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

China 'does not approve' of new Houthi government

The twenty-month long civil war has caused over 10,000 deaths [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2016

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A spokesperson for the Chinese government expressed 'concern' over the decision of Yemeni rebels to form a government after a Houthi delegation visited Beijing earlier this week.

China has expressed concern over the decision by Yemeni rebels to form a new government, adding its support for the presidency of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

A delegation from the Ansar Allah party, also known as the Houthis, had travelled to Beijing earlier this week in order to gather support.

"We do not approve of any unilateral moves by any side in Yemen that complicate the situation, and believe this is not beneficial to a political resolution of the Yemeni issue," said Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry.

“It is hoped that relevant parties in Yemen will carry on with their negotiation to address differences and reach a balanced settlement all sides can accept.”

International diplomats have expressed concern over the Houthi decision, as many would prefer the rebels to form a coalition with members of the existing government.

Earlier this week, Houthis and their allies from former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People's Congress party announced the line-up of the 42-member "national salvation" government, which will be headed by former governor of Aden Abdel Aziz bin Habtoor.

The new cabinet was announced by the "supreme political council", which was established earlier this year by the rebels.

"[…] The government, which was formed amid the difficult conditions experienced by the country, is tasked with putting in order the internal situation and confronting the [Saudi] aggression," Houthi-run state news agency Saba reported.

"The Council noted that this comes amid the intransigence of the aggression and its [Yemeni] mercenaries to move within the framework of a national solution ... to spare the country further bloodshed and destruction."

China has historically chosen not to get involved in Middle Eastern affairs, despite its heavy reliance on oil from the region.

This policy appears to now be shifting, as China has taken a more active role in discussions on Syria and Yemen.

Chinese president Xi Jinping reaffirmed his country’s support for the government of President Hadi, who is currently backed by Saudi Arabia, during a tour of the Saudi kingdom in January.

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