China’s president said Wednesday that Beijing remains determined to develop a strategic partnership with Iran despite changes in global and regional arenas.
“No matter how the international and regional situation changes, China's resolve to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership with Iran will remain unchanged,” Xi Jinping said during a meeting with a visiting Iranian delegation headed by Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi reiterated his country’s support to Iran in terms of playing a constructive role in helping to maintain regional peace and stability and its commitment to closely communicate and coordinate with Iran on regional issues.
“The two countries need to further deepen strategic mutual trust and continue to extend mutual understanding and support on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns,” he added.
Larijani cited the historic and friendly relations between the two countries while stressing the need to further deepen ties.
“Strengthening bilateral friendly cooperation is not only in the interest of the two countries but also important for peace and stability in Asia and the world,” he said.
“Iran is keen to deepen mutual trust and promote pragmatic cooperation with China,” he added, stressing the need for Tehran and Beijing to support each other in international and regional arenas.
The meeting came a day after China and Iran’s foreign ministers met in Beijing to discuss relations and regional developments.
Iran would like to take part in China’s landmark Belt and Road Initiative, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said during the meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The two men also expressed a willingness to enhance bilateral relations.
Wang said Beijing valued Iran’s role in regional affairs and looked forward to seeing that role expand further.
The meetings came a few days before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia -- Tehran’s archrival -- is set to visit the Chinese capital.
Saudi King Salman, the crown prince’s father, visited Beijing in 2017.
By Fuat Kabakci in Beijing