The Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisiarrived on Tuesday at China in front of a broad delegation for one three day visit in which it will seek to strengthen economic cooperation and consolidate relations between the two countries.
Raisi is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinpingwith whom he must sign a series of “cooperation documents”, Tehran said.
He is accompanied on the visit by the head of the central bank and the ministers of Commerce, Economy and Oil.
Iran and China have strong economic links, especially in energy, transport, agriculture, trade and investmentand in 2021 they signed a 25-year “strategic cooperation pact” with “political, strategic and economic” components.
In his pre-trip message, Raisi described relations between the two countries as a “model of mutual respect” in their strategic cooperation objectives and to “promote international peace and stability.”
China is Iran’s largest trading partner. whose exports to Beijing amounted to about 12 billion euros in the last 10 months compared to the same approximate amount in imports of Chinese goods, indicates the official Iranian news agency IRNA.
Both countries face pressures from the West for his positions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began almost a year ago. Iran has emerged as one of the few remaining allies of Moscow, which faces increasing isolation after the invasion.
Western countries accuse Iran of selling armed drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine, a charge that Tehran denies.
Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine is a sensitive issue for Beijing, which has sought to position itself as neutral but has provided diplomatic backing to its strategic ally Russia.
Raisi and Xi first met last September in Uzbekistan during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, where the Iranian leader called for expanding ties.
According to the agency IRNARaisi will participate in meetings with Chinese and Iranian businessmen based in China.
China is Iran’s main trading partner, according to IRNA. Citing customs figures, Iran exported $12.6 billion to China and imported $12.7 billion from its partner in the first 10 months of last year.
(With information from AFP and Europa Press)
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