China and Iran: a relationship built on trade, weapons and oil

China and Iran: a relationship built on trade, weapons and oil

Beijing supplied military hardware to Tehran in the Iran-Iraq war and has been among its top three arms suppliers in the past decade -China remains Iran’s top trade partner, but oil imports slumped after US sanctions
By Kristin Huang
Amid its long-running conflict with the US, Iran has increasingly turned to China for aid to boost its military and to help protect its economy from trade sanctions imposed by Washington.
The strong ties between Beijing and Tehran have been evident in recent days as tensions have risen in the Middle East, triggered by the killing of Iran’s top military chief Qassem Soleimani by the US in Iraq. Tehran responded with a missile attack on US forces in Iraq.
China’s envoy to Iran, Chang Hua, has said Beijing remained committed to its partnership with Tehran. Zhai Jun, China’s special representative for the Middle East, visited Tehran for a security dialogue on Monday and Tuesday, when he said some “external nations” were stirring provocations, without naming the US.

Why China won’t join an Iran-Russia coalition against Trump

Jan 7, 2020
Beijing’s muted response to the U.S. killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani suggests China still isn’t ready to join Russia in taking a more direct role in the Middle East’s entrenched conflicts.
While Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China was “highly concerned” by the action and called it “unacceptable,” he didn’t use words like “condemn” or “denounce” like his Iranian and Russian counterparts, Javad Zarif and Sergei Lavrov. Instead, he told Zarif that China would “play a constructive role” to help safeguard regional security and said on a call with Lavrov that “all parties” must uphold international law.
The comments were consistent with China’s past efforts to avoid commitments in a region where it could clash with the U.S. and its allies. Beijing has so far done little to counter President Donald Trump’s effort to ratchet up pressure on Tehran, beyond defending the Iran nuclear deal and criticizing unilateral sanctions by the U.S.

Read also:
US Lawmakers Concerned Over Russians, Chinese Buying Businesses

Iran says it’s working with Russia, China for ‘full security of shipping lines’

28 December 2019
As Iran held a major, unprecedented naval drill with Russia and China in the northern part of the Indian Ocean on Saturday, a top Iranian navy official said the three countries sought to establish “full security of shipping lines” in the region.
Iranian flotilla chief, Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, added that the nations were cooperating to counter “common maritime threats,” according to Tehran’s Fars news agency.
Iranian state TV reported Friday that the four-day exercise, launched from the southeastern port city of Chahbahar in the Gulf of Oman and near the border with Pakistan, is aimed at boosting security of the region’s waterways.

China urges ‘calm and restraint’ after US kills top Iranian commander