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US asks China to urge Iran to curb Red Sea attacks by Houthis -FT

(Reuters) -The United States has asked China to urge Tehran to rein in the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea but has seen little sign of help from Beijing, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing U.S. officials.

The U.S. has repeatedly raised the matter with top Chinese officials in the past three months, the report said.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his deputy, Jon Finer, discussed the issue in meetings this month in Washington with Liu Jianchao, head of the International Liaison Department of China's Communist Party, the newspaper said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart, the report said, adding U.S. officials believe there was little evidence that China had put any pressure on Iran to restrain the Houthis beyond a mild statement Beijing issued last week.

Earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. military carried out strikes in Yemen, destroying two Houthi anti-ship missiles that were aimed at the Red Sea and were preparing to launch.

On Monday, U.S. and British forces carried out a round of strikes in Yemen, targeting a Houthi underground storage site as well as missile and surveillance capabilities used by the Iran-aligned group against Red Sea shipping.

The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping and stoked fears of global inflation. They have also deepened concern that fallout from the Israel-Hamas war could destabilize the Middle East.

(Reporting by Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger)