China, the biggest oil importer in the world, could consider sending navy ships to the Persian Gulf to protect its commercial vessels in the area, should the situation become “very unsafe,” China’s Ambassador to the UAE, Ni Jian, told Reuters last week.
“If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels,” Ni said. The Chinese Embassy in the UAE said later that China was studying the US proposal on escorting commercial ships in the Gulf. About 20% of global petroleum liquids consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and about three-quarters of this goes to Asian markets. China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are the leading destinations.