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China looks to boost its influence in Yemen

China is capitalizing on its ties with the various actors in Yemen's civil war to play a bigger role in investing in a post-conflict Yemen.

On Nov. 22, China’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun laid out Beijing’s vision for Yemen’s post-conflict future. In an official statement, Zhang Jun called upon the international community to provide “tailored assistance” to improve the living conditions of the Yemeni people and highlighted Yemen as a case for China’s position that development is an effective pathway to peace and stability for countries facing internal conflicts.

Zhang Jun’s statement on Yemen was noteworthy because it was more specific than Beijing’s traditionally ambiguous calls for intra-Yemeni dialogue and a political solution to the Yemen war. The Chinese representative’s comments coincide with a broader expansion of China’s involvement in Yemen. As China possesses comprehensive strategic partnerships with Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China has cautiously supported Yemen’s internationally recognized government, while maintaining lines of communication with the Houthis and the Southern Transitional Council (STC). China has leveraged these close diplomatic ties with Yemen’s warring factions to expand its economic presence in Yemen and in turn further consolidate its influence on the Red Sea.

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