Monday, 27 March, 2023

Iranian President Raisi to visit China tomorrow

BEIJING: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will visit China for a three-day trip starting Tuesday at the invitation of his counterpart, Xi Jinping, reports AP.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the announcement on Sunday. She did not elaborate on Raisi’s itinerary.

The two leaders met last September in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, when Xi underscored China’s support for Iran.

In December, Raisi pledged to remain committed to deepening the strategic partnership during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua in Tehran.

China is a major buyer of Iranian oil and an important source of investment in the Mideast country. In 2021, Iran and China signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement that covered major economic activities from oil and mining to industry, transportation and agriculture.

Both countries have had tense relations with the United States and have sought to project themselves as a counterweight to American power alongside Russia.

Washington has accused Iran of selling hundreds of attack drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and has sanctioned executives of an Iranian drone manufacturer. At that same time, ties between Moscow and Beijing have grown stronger.