June 19, 2019
China has expressed worries over escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran and has called for both sides to calm amid recent attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf.
On Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The two discussed the recent regional conflicts of Iran as well as other topics.
After the meeting between the two leaders, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in Beijing that “a war in the Gulf region in the Middle East is the last thing we want to see, which is neither in the interests of any party nor serves the shared interests of the international community.”
“China is concerned over the tensions in the Gulf region in the Middle East,” Geng added. “We hope relevant parties will properly resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation, jointly uphold peace, stability and development, which is in the interests of regional countries and the international community.”
Geng continued, saying that “China maintains normal cooperation with the Gulf states, including on cooperation and energy.” Washington has attempted to cut Iran’s trade ties with other nations, following the placement of massive sanctions on the country. Geng said that China “firmly opposes unilateral sanction and the so-called long-arm jurisdiction” and was “working to play our role and contribute to upholding peace and stability in the gulf region.”
While President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, China and Russia have continued to abide by its terms, as Rouhani has shored up ties with the two nations.
In a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, President Xi said he viewed bilateral ties with Iran “from a strategic and long-term perspective” and “no matter how the international and regional situation changes, China is willing to work with Iran to promote the steady and steady development of the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership.”
Xi called on both nations to strengthen cooperation in combating the “three forces” of terrorism, separatism, and extremism.
In a Friday meeting with President Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised their countries’ successes in aiding the Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian government, which were “thanks to, in particular, the active position of Iran.” Putin has called for a closer strategic partnership between Russia and Iran.
Rouhani told Xi “that pressure being exerted by the U.S. administration on Iran, China, and other countries is aimed at dominating the whole of Asia and the world.”
He told Putin that ties between Russia and Iran were “becoming more urgent every day” because of the “serious external influence and external sanctions being imposed” on both countries.
President Donald Trump has touted his “maximum pressure” campaign, which intends to internationally isolate Iran. The U.S. has accused Iran of being “the largest state sponsor of terrorism” by supporting proxy military groups and developing ballistic missiles the U.S. has said were destabilizing to the Middle East.
Though European countries faced difficulties doing business with Iran under the threat of U.S. sanctions, China and Russia have maintained their trade channels. Beijing may have its sights on Iran to include the nation in President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is a multi-billion-dollar system of intercontinental infrastructure projects that the U.S. has been wary about amid its trade war with China.
– MK. II