Xi holds talks with Iranian president, eyeing new progress in ties
Focus on Middle East
Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi in Beijing on Tuesday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi prior to their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 14, 2023. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)
Xi pointed out that China and Iran enjoy traditional friendship and bilateral relations have withstood the tests of various international vicissitudes.
In the face of complex changes in the world, times and history, China and Iran have supported each other, worked together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, consolidated strategic mutual trust and made steady progress in practical cooperation, which has promoted common interests, safeguarded international fairness and justice, and written a new chapter in China-Iran friendship, he said.
Xi underscored that China is advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, unswervingly promoting high-quality development and opening-up, and unswervingly upholding world peace and promoting common development.
China has always viewed and developed its relations with Iran from a strategic perspective, Xi said, noting that no matter how the international and regional situation changes, China will unswervingly develop friendly cooperation with Iran, push for new development of the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership, and play a positive role in world peace and human progress.
Xi stressed that China supports Iran in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national dignity, supports Iran in resisting unilateralism and bullying, and opposes external forces interfering in Iran's internal affairs and undermining Iran's security and stability.
China stands ready to continue mutual support with Iran on issues concerning each other's core interests, said the Chinese president.
He noted that China is ready to work with Iran to implement bilateral comprehensive cooperation plan, deepen practical cooperation on trade, agriculture, industry and infrastructure, and import more high-quality Iranian agricultural products.
"China is willing to continue cooperation with Iran under the Belt and Road Initiative to promote connectivity and expand people-to-people exchanges," Xi added.
Xi said that maintaining stability in the Middle East is vital to the well-being of countries and people in the region and is crucial to safeguarding world peace, promoting global economic development and ensuring a stable energy supply.
"China appreciates Iran's willingness to actively improve relations with its neighbors, and supports regional countries in resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation to achieve good-neighborly friendship," Xi said, expressing China's readiness to continue playing a constructive role in promoting regional peace and stability.
China is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with Iran on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), practice true multilateralism and safeguard the common interests of developing countries, Xi said.
Talking about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Xi said China will continue to take a constructive part in the negotiations on resuming the nuclear deal, support Iran in safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests, and work for an early and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.
For his part, Raisi said the time-tested friendship between Iran and China has become even firmer as time goes by. As two independent major countries, the Iran-China relations are based on the spirit of mutual respect, and they are sincere strategic partners worthy of mutual trust.
Iran's commitment to deepening and upgrading the Iran-China comprehensive strategic partnership is unswerving and will not be affected by any changes in the international and regional situation, Raisi stressed.
Raisi said Iran expects to strengthen exchanges with China at all levels, implement the comprehensive cooperation plan between the two countries, deepen practical cooperation in the fields of trade and infrastructure, among others, welcomes Chinese enterprises seeking to invest in Iran, and looks forward to more Chinese tourists visiting Iran.
He thanked the Chinese side for providing valuable help to Iran in fighting against COVID-19, and upholding justice on issues such as the negotiations on the JCPOA.
Iran firmly supports and will actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by China, he said.
Noting that both Iran and China are firmly opposed to unilateralism and hegemonism, as well as to external interference in internal affairs, Raisi said Iran firmly supports China in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Raisi said Iran is willing to strengthen communication with China on international and regional affairs, maintain good cooperation on multilateral occasions such as the SCO, jointly safeguard international fairness and justice, and maintain regional and world peace and security.
The two presidents also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.
After the talks, Xi and Raisi jointly witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral cooperation documents on agriculture, trade, tourism, environmental protection, health, disaster relief, culture, sports and other fields.
During Raisi's three-day visit, the two countries also issued a joint statement.
Meanwhile, this week Pentagon intelligence analysts released a detailed look at the Iranian-made drones that are coming into heavy use inside Ukraine. The paper, which was released early Tuesday with results recent through the end of October, includes multi-directional analyzes of Shahed-136, Shahed-131 and Mohajer 6 multi-role UAVs.