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12 Feb, 2023 20:35

China announces visit of Iranian president

Ebrahim Raisi is coming to Beijing at the invitation of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Foreign Ministry says
China announces visit of Iranian president

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will make an official visit to China next week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said.

Raisi’s planned visit will take place between February 14 and 16 and is at the invitation of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the ministry announced in a statement on Sunday.

The three-day trip will include talks between Raisi and Xi, a joint meeting of the leaders with Iranian and Chinese businessmen, and the signing of cooperation documents between the delegations of the two countries, according to Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.

Also reporting on the upcoming visit, US outlet Politico said that it is “expected to deepen ties between the two political and economic partners that are opposed to the US-led Western domination of international affairs.”

Xi and Raisi last met during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit last September in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. During the talks, the Chinese leader said that both Beijing and Tehran had decided to strengthen their strategic partnership.

In December, Chinese Vice President Hu Chunhua visited Iran and met with Raisi, with both sides expressing eagerness to boost bilateral ties further.

China is Iran’s largest trading partner and the main buyer of its oil amid US sanctions on Tehran. According to Iranian data, its exports to China reached $12.6 billion in the last ten months. The country also bought $12.7 billion worth of Chinese goods during the period.

Last year, Iran was formally included in the SCO as a permanent member, and it applied to join BRICS – two international organizations in which China and Russia play a major role.