Published on The Cradle, Feb 14, 2023:
Over the last year, oil exports from Tehran to Beijing reached $12.6 billion. Chinese President Xi Jinping received his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on 14 February in Beijing, where the two signed 20 cooperation agreements to bolster relations between Iran and China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping received his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on 14 February in Beijing, where the two signed 20 cooperation agreements to bolster relations between Iran and China.
The two met at the headquarters of the National People’s Congress of China to discuss improving bilateral cooperation in the fields of crisis management, tourism, communication and information technology, trade, agriculture, exports, healthcare, media, sports, and cultural heritage.
Raisi thanked Xi for the constructive support from the National People’s Congress of China (NPC) in advancing the strategic ties between Tehran and Beijing.
Raisi described Iran and China as “two friends in hard times,” emphasizing the necessity of using the capacity of regional and trans-regional mechanisms regarding joint cooperation.
Xi also affirmed his support for a proper resolution of the revival of the Iranian nuclear deal with Washington and expressed Beijing’s support in safeguarding Tehran’s rights and interests, according to Chinese media. Xi further assured Raisi that China would continue to “participate constructively” in talks to resume negotiations on implementing the Iran nuclear agreement.
After their meeting, the Iranian President told reporters that China and Iran have similar perspectives on fighting unilateralism at the international level.
Last year, Iran was officially included in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a permanent member. The nation later applied to join BRICS – two international organizations in which China and Russia play a significant role.
China remains Iran’s largest trading partner and the leading buyer of its oil. Over the last year, oil exports from Tehran to Beijing reached $12.6 billion.
Iran also plays a crucial role in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a mega-infrastructure and economic initiative launched by Beijing to link the economies of Europe, Asia, and Africa, with an eye on expanding to Latin America.
In 2021, both countries signed a 25-year strategic cooperation pact with “political, strategic, and economic” components.
Raisi’s visit to the Asian giant is part of his administration’s “Look to the East” policy, which seeks to build alliances with non-western world powers that bear similar political structures to Iran, and oppose US-led western domination of international affairs.
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