China pushes again for Yemen ceasefire

China has repeatedly expressed concern about the fighting in Yemen and called for a political solution.

FILE: Smoke billows following an air-strike by Saudi-led coalition on May 11, 2015, in the Yemen capital of Sanaa. Picture: AFP.

BEIJING - China is seriously concerned about the worsening situation in Yemen and all sides need to stop fighting and resolve the dispute through talks, China's ambassador to the country was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

China, a low-key diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its reliance on oil from the region and permanent membership of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly expressed worry about the fighting in Yemen and called for a political solution.

"China is seriously concerned at continuing upheaval in Yemen and the worsening humanitarian situation," ambassador Tian Qi said during a teleconference with the UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

China hoped a ceasefire would be achieved as soon as possible and that all parties follow UN resolutions and look for a political solution, Tian added.

China was willing to do what it could to help, he added.

In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia's King Salman in a telephone call that efforts should be stepped up to seek a political solution to the crisis in Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Muslim states has been bombing Yemen's Houthis, fearing the Shi'ite movement will act as a proxy for Saudi Arabia's arch-rival in the region, Shi'ite Iran.

Iran and the Houthis deny any military or economic links. The Houthis say their seizure of the capital Sanaa in September and their advance south is part of a revolution against a corrupt government.