TEHRAN (Iran News) – On August 16, Iran and China marked the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties which is a credit for reinforcing bilateral relations in various fields.
On this occasion, China’s President Xi Jinping said in his message to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that he is ready to strengthen cooperation between the two states in various fields with the cooperation of President Raisi.
He pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic ties half a century ago, the relations between China and Iran have developed steadily and the traditional friendship between the two countries has grown stronger with time.
Since the establishment of the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership, the mutual political trust between the two sides has seen further consolidation and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields has witnessed steady progress, he added.
He also noted that following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Iran have closely stood by each other through thick and thin and wrote a fine story of anti-pandemic cooperation.
Meanwhile, President Raisi described Iran and China as ancient civilizations, saying Iran’s commitment for establishing high-level relations with China is still underway.
He noted that Iran will continue its efforts for promoting the level of strategic cooperation.
Raeisi on his part hailed the two countries as “ancient civilizations” and said the friendship between the two sides is like an “ancient tree that draws nutrients from thousands of years of friendly exchanges”.
He reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to building stronger ties with China as “unwavering”.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, a new chapter opened in Iran-China relations. The mutual visits made by Iranian and Chinese high-ranking officials indicate strengthening bilateral relations between Tehran and Beijing.
In March, China and Iran, both subject to U.S. sanctions, signed a 25-year cooperation agreement on to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance and this agreement opened a new chapter in the political scene of Iran and even in the region.
China and Iran officially established economic ties in 1937, which were reaffirmed as the countries established their modern forms of government in 1949 and 1979, respectively. Bilateral diplomatic and trade relations have remained steady ever since, built largely on Iran’s abundant natural resources and China’s demand for oil. The two countries have cooperated on a wide range of projects in multiple sectors, including energy, technology, defense, and infrastructure.
In 2019, Iran approved visa-free travel to the country for Chinese nationals, including Hong Kong and Macao residents, possibly as a means of allowing Chinese travelers to visit the country without being penalized by US sanctions. Iran has also been a vocal supporter of China on the international stage, backing it in key international forums, such as the UN.
Iran and China have strengthened diplomatic and economic ties and bilateral trade in recent years, despite sanctions placed on Iran by the international community. In 2016, Xi Jinping became the first world leader to visit Iran after the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015, more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, which China was party to. Since the Trump administration withdrew from the plan and reinstated sanctions in 2018, China has repeatedly called for the US to return to the negotiating table, offering to play a mediating role in discussions.
The sanctions have hurt bilateral trade between China and Iran since their reinstatement in 2018. However, more recent activity between the two countries suggests a determination to advance trade and investment despite the restrictions. To this day, China is Iran’s largest trade partner and major source of investment. In 2019, Chinese companies poured US$3.41 billion in direct investment into the country and signed contracts worth a combined US$3.11 billion, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
During the visit made by President Xi Jinping to Iran in 2016, the two countries announced that they have established relations based on comprehensive strategic participation through an agreement in bilateral, regional, and international fields.
The joint statement on comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China in the form of 20 articles outlines the road map for developing Tehran-Beijing joint cooperation in the politics, executive cooperation, humanitarian and cultural fields, as well as judicial, security-defense, regional, and international ones.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi signed the comprehensive cooperation document on March 27 here in Tehran, which opened a new chapter in political and economic fields.
Also, the Belt and Road Initiative is a Chinese investment plan in economic infrastructure of over 77 countries in the world which has been introduced by China in 2013. With $900 billion investment in the world’s economic infrastructure, it is the largest investment project ever proposed by a country.
Iran has actively participated in Initiative for a long time; therefore, it has now become one of the most important corridors for the implementation of the project. Iran connects East and West and is a way to Europe and is a very important and powerful country in terms of culture, economy, strategy science, technology, transportation, energy, and investment.
China is one of the largest importers of Iran’s oil, minerals, and chemicals, which considers it as an advantage for cooperation between the two countries.
China has always supported Iran nuclear deal and has urged the U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran and Iran has offered its support for China with regard to issues like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Xinjiang.
Despite all challenges caused by COVID-19 for Iran and China, the pandemic strengthened relations between Tehran and Beijing. Iran sent anti-COVID-19 equipment to China. And China rendered health and medical aid and COVID-19 vaccine consignments to Iran.
Chinese officials and media showed positive reaction to new Iranian government. In recent years China has proved it can be a trustworthy partner for Iran as the country for several times have rushed to support Iran in the international communities.
Recent developments can strengthen the ties between these two strong countries as Iran can be a key country for China for fulfilling its dream of launching the Silk Road and the project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Although Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and the re-imposition of the U.S. sanctions on Tehran hit China’s imports of crude oil from Iran, China remains the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is also a reliable country for China as it has been proved it in recent years. The cooperation between Iran and China has worried the West and they are very upset against this cooperation and they are trying to cause disruption in this historic deal.
So let’s be hopeful for bright future of cooperation between Iran and China, shaping of a golden era and their unity against world arrogance and imperialist states.