- President Donald Trump called on Monday for China, and the rest of the world, to protect its own ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz.
- The US accuses Iran of laying mines in the narrow body of water on its border, as well as shooting down a US drone.
- Trump refused to strike Iran in response to the drone, and is now questioning the entire US presence in the region.
- The US imports more than 30,000,000 barrels of oil per month through the strait.
President Donald Trump called on Monday for China, and the rest of the world, to protect their own ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz.
The US has recently accused Iran of laying mines there for oil tankers, and shooting down a drone in international airspace.
"China gets 91% of its Oil from the Straight, Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise." Trump tweeted, using the wrong spelling for "strait."
"So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey.
"We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world! The U.S. request for Iran is very simple – No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!" he concluded.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, China, Japan, and other Asian markets account for 76% of oil exports headed past Iran through the Strait of Hormuz, the New York Times reported.
Looking at 2018 figures, Business Insider could find data to back up Trump’s claim that 62% of Japan’s oil comes through the strait, but not that China gets 91%, as it has a diverse network of oil imports, including a pipeline from Russia.
While the US has become the world’s top energy exporter thanks to a boom in fracking, it still imports more than 30,000,000 barrels of oil a month from countries in the Middle East.
The US makes it a mission to protect freedom of navigation on the open seas, using its navy dozens of times a year to challenge excessive maritime claims.
Most notably, the US has destroyers regularly challenging China’s illegally claimed artificial islands in the South China Sea, something that noticeably irks Beijing.
Trump’s comments come after the US accused Iran of laying mines for tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, which sits between Iran and Oman. Trump has resisted a military response to this incident and the later downing of a US drone by Iranian missile.
Oil jumped in price following Iran’s alleged minings and remained up.
- Iran says that US cyberattacks — said to be Trump’s preferred retaliation — didn’t work
- Iran claims Trump tipped it off that a military strike was imminent — despite reports suggesting the US ultimately backed down
- Trump downplays Iranian attack with bizarre, counterfactual explanation in what looks like a move to avoid war