Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping on Feb. 14 to kick off a three-day state visit. The Iranian leader's visit to China was the first by a leader of the Islamic republic in more than 20 years. According to the Iranian government, Raisi would sign several "cooperation documents" with his Chinese counterpart during the trip.
Xi greeted the Iranian president on a red carpet. The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said Raisi would take part in meetings with Chinese businessmen and Iranians living in the communist country.
Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), added that Raisi would also meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress. The latter's position is tantamount to the House speaker in U.S. politics.
Several Iranian top ministers accompanied Raisi on his three-day state visit to China, according to Iranian state television. These included Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Economic Minister Ehsan Khandozi, Transportation Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash, Oil Minister Javad Owji, Industry and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin and Agriculture Minister Javad Sadatinejad. Also joining the delegation was Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri, who also serves as the chief nuclear negotiator.
Beijing and Tehran have strong economic ties in the fields of energy, transit, agriculture, trade and investment. The two nations signed a 25-year "strategic cooperation pact" in 2021.
However, Raisi and Xi only met for the first time in September 2022, at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit held in Uzbekistan. The Iranian leader called for expanded ties during the conference in the Central Asian nation.
According to IRNA, China is Iran's largest trading partner based on 10-month statistics taken from the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration. Tehran's exports to Beijing stood at $12.6 billion, while it imported $12.7 billion worth of goods from China.
"China and Iran enjoy a traditional friendship, and it is the strategic choice of both sides to consolidate and develop China-Iran relations," said Wang. The MFA spokesman added that Beijing wants to "play a constructive role in enhancing the unity and cooperation of countries in the Middle East and promoting regional security and stability."
According to a report by South African website Polity, Iran is also seeking to join the BRICS economic group. The bloc – which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – seeks to challenge the dominance of the West, especially when it comes to the issue of a common currency. The website cited a report by Iran's Fars News, which announced that Tehran applied for membership as per an official of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Interestingly, the West deems the two nations as threats to the stability of the world. Aside from being sanctioned by the U.S. due to its nuclear program, Iran has been accused of aiding Russia in its fight against Ukraine by providing Moscow with drones. (Related: Iran finally admits it is supplying Russia with combat drones.)
Meanwhile, Washington recently accused China of espionage after a spy balloon operated by Beijing was spotted in American airspace. The said balloon was shot down by U.S. forces, which did not sit well with the Chinese Communist Party.
Watch this segment of the "Worldview Report" about strategies by Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia to cripple the petrodollar.
This video is from the Worldview Report channel on Brighteon.com.