News / Asia

    China Offers Support for Yemen Government as Xi Visits Saudi Arabia

    China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at its New York headquarters, Sept. 28, 2015.
    China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at its New York headquarters, Sept. 28, 2015.
    Reuters

    China has signaled its support for Yemen's government, which is fighting an Iran-allied militia, on the first day of a visit to Saudi Arabia by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will also be heading to Tehran later in the week.

    A Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign last year against the Iranian-allied Shi'ite Houthi movement in Yemen, which has seized the capital, Sana’a. The government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is now based in the southern city of Aden.

    Riyadh sees the Houthis as a proxy for bitter regional rival Iran to expand its influence in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation. The Houthis deny this and say they are waging a revolution against a corrupt government and Gulf Arab powers beholden to the West.

    A growing diplomatic dispute between Riyadh and Tehran, triggered by mainly Sunni Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric, has damaged the outlook for any resolution to the conflict in Yemen.

    Saudi Arabia and China said in a statement on Wednesday that the two countries affirmed their support for the unity, independence and sovereignty of Yemen. The statement was released by China's Foreign Ministry after Xi met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh on Tuesday.

    All social, religious and political groups in Yemen should maintain their national solidarity and avoid any decisions that may cause social disruption and chaos, it said.

    "Both sides stressed support for the legitimate regime of Yemen," the statement said.

    Xi is expected in Iran later in the week, with a further stop in Egypt after he leaves Saudi Arabia.

    Asked whether China was siding with Saudi Arabia over Yemen and whether that could risk upsetting Iran, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China had always acted in the interests of the Yemeni people and maintaining peace in the Middle East, and had promoted peace talks.

    "[We] hope clashes in Yemen can come to an end as soon as possible and there can be  reconciliation so the country can return to stability," Hong told a daily news briefing.

    China relies on the region for oil but has tended to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

    However, China has been trying to get more involved, especially in Syria, and recently hosted its foreign minister and opposition officials.

    China and Saudi Arabia expressed deep concern about Syria and renewed a call for a peaceful political settlement as soon as possible.

    A Chinese president has not visited Saudi Arabia since 2009, when Hu Jintao went. Jiang Zemin was the last Chinese president to visit Iran, in 2002.

    You May Like

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora