IRAN-CHINA: GRAND diplomatic breakthrough

Editorial Iran.ru

25 january 2016

Visit of the President Xi Jinping to Tehran marked the grand diplomatic breakthrough in relations between the two countries. And the consequences of this break in the near future have a beneficial effect on the vast expanse of the Middle East, and Central and South Asia.

Signed during the summit meetings of heads of China and Iran's agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership creates a solid foundation that the union of these two countries will be a major factor in determining the safety and stability of the region. Xi Jinping became the first leader of a world-class, who visited Iran after the lifting of sanctions against Tehran, and it is a very significant step.

"The first foreign trip of the Chinese leadership in 2016, the first year of implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan, has a special significance," - said the state news agency Xinhua China. - "It contributes to the Chinese initiative" one zone, one way "and the development of the traditional friendship between China and the Islamic world."

Fellow at the Center for the Study of the initiative "one zone, one way" with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Zhang Ning notes that according to diplomatic practice, the first trip of the head of state since taking office and his first overseas tour in the new year are especially important.

"So, in 2013, after the inauguration of President Xi Jinping made ​​his first visit as head of state in Russia, during the first trip abroad in 2014, he arrived in the Russian city of Sochi to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, as well as the first paragraph of his first trip abroad in 2015, he chose to Pakistan. This year, Xi Jinping gave priority to three Middle Eastern countries - important partners of China, which actively supports the initiative of the Chinese "one zone, one way." Thus, this visit will give a new impetus to cooperation between the two sides, "- saysZhang Ning.

It should be noted, however, that contacts at the highest level leaders of China and Iran for several years have become a tradition. In 2013, Chairman Xi Jinping at the summit of the SCO in Bishkek met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. After that, the two leaders have met several times at international meetings. In 2014, H. Rouhani paid a visit to China and attended the 4th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). In 2015, the Chinese President and the President of Iran met in New York at the UN General Assembly.

The economic foundation of the Iran-China strategic partnership

Just as stable as relationships at the highest level, it is a progressive and dynamic development of economic relations between the two countries. Do not be amiss to recall that in a time when the turnover of the Islamic Republic, with its main partners declined, the trade volume between Tehran and Beijing increase.1997 - $ 12 billion, ahead of "crippling sanctions", in 2009 - $ 28 billion. At their peak in 2012 - $ 36 billion.In 2013 - $ 40 billion. And, at the end of last year, including oil exports - more than 51 billion dollars.

In short, for the period since 2009, in a tightening of Washington and the EU sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic, the growth of trade turnover amounted to almost 60 per cent - more than convincing proof that Beijing's sanctions have never been and will not be a limiting factor in the development of economic partnership with Tehran. Currently, about one hundred Chinese enterprises are actively working in the field of trade and economic cooperation between China and Iran. The Chinese are taking part in a number of construction projects in the areas of high-speed railways, oil and gas, power engineering, chemical industry and telecommunications. The construction of the Tehran Metro Park production of Chinese cars "Cherie" and other successful examples of Sino-Iranian economic and trade cooperation is highly prized in Iran.

In 2015, China made ​​the most concrete proposal to Tehran on joins are the development strategy of the two countries. "China will as a priority to advance with Iran infrastructure projects and transport and communications interconnectivity, to expand cooperation in areas such as railways, highways, metallurgy, automotive, energy, engineering, high technology and environmental protection. Also, it is important first of all to encourage cooperation in the field of energy and finance. China is ready to make full use of complementary advantages of the two countries in the energy field in order to build long-term and stable strategic cooperation ", - he said at the end of that meeting, Xi Jinping.

During this visit, this idea was further developed in the form of a package of political and economic proposals. First of all, China has officially expressed support for Iran's bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on a full-fledged member of the organization. The statement was signed during the current visit. In a broader sense, the political significance of this step lies in the fact that China makes it clear - attempts to expand US sanctions under the pretext of Iran's missile program in Beijing is considered unauthorized. And it is not going to take them into account in the development of relations with Tehran.

According to the Chinese side, Iran is not only a state-founder of the Asian Bank of infrastructure investments but also its economy in the near future would be in line with rapid development. That, in turn, provides a solid foundation for Cooperation between Iran and China. From the standpoint of long-term prospects, according to estimates by Chinese and other foreign experts, the parties have a huge space for cooperation in the areas of building high-speed rail, natural gas production, oil pipelines and other infrastructure construction and natural resources.

In the context of warming economic and trade relations between China and Iran, the broad prospects expected and exchanges, including in the humanitarian sphere: education, culture and tourism. "Iran is rich in tourist resources. The political situation in the country stabilizes, and in the future, Iran could become a popular tourist destination for residents of the Middle Kingdom, "- said, in particular, China" Renmin Ribao ".

Practical results of the meetings in Tehran

As a result, the result of the visit of President Xi Jinping in Tehran was the signing of 17 documents of intent, including - treaties regulating legal aspects of civil and commercial relations. Among the signed documents - an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding for the promotion and establishment of marine "Silk Road of XXI Century" and the economic belt of the Iran-China within the framework of this project. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The list of documents and an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal, civil and commercial matters; Agreement on scientific and technical cooperation, cooperation in the field of environmental protection and on environmental issues, cooperation between the customs services of the two countries. The two sides also discussed the long-term contracts in the energy and mining sectors. One of the successful outcomes of the visit can be called a decision of the parties that the Chinese capital will be used to finance the reconstruction of the railway Tehran - Mashhad.

But mostly, nevertheless, should be considered the signing of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and adjacent to the document w Staff 25-year program for the development of relations and the expansion of trade, one of the main goals of which is to increase the trade turnover between the two countries in a decade to 600 billion dollars.

*******

Occurred as a result of mutual efforts of a diplomatic breakthrough in Iran-China relations, the emerging Iranian-Chinese partnership has all chances to become a system-forming factor of safety in the East, and the harbinger of a multipolar world. Tehran and Beijing are present in almost complete coincidence of strategic interests in one of the most unstable regions of the planet. They have a common approach to the resolution of the Syrian crisis. They are equally concerned about the rise of extremism and separatism. This coincidence gives rise to optimism for the future partnership between the two countries, able to promote peace and prosperity in a new way to reshape the Middle East, Central Asia and many other geopolitical map.

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