Toward new Sino-Iranian relations: common interests, mutual needs

By Mohsen Shariatinia & Ehsan Razani
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 23, 2016
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On the bilateral level, a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis has rapidly and positively affected the development of Sino-Iranian relations. Reportedly, Iran, China, and the United States have agreed to cooperate trilaterally on reconstructing the Arak reactor. This can be seen as a significant starting point for a new phase of Sino-Iranian relations.

Without doubt, economic cooperation will continue to play the main role in shaping the future of Sino-Iranian relations. According to Iran customs statistics, in the six-month period between early-April to late-September in 2015, 24.25 percent of Iran's total imports and 22.65 percent of its export were from and to China. As energy cooperation has also had increasing importance in relations between the two countries, during recent years, China has remained the first trade partner of the Islamic Republic as well as one of the leading foreign investors in the Iranian economy.

In light of the post-sanction era, Xi Jinping's visit can be considered as a clear sign indicating that the leaders of both sides seem determined to rapidly increase economic interaction between their countries. As it has been said, the grand plan of the Silk Road Economic Belt will likely turn into the centerpiece of the growing Sino-Iranian relationship in the new era. Possessing a unique position on the Silk Road Economic Belt, Iran is one of the countries that have a strong need to encourage foreign investment in its infrastructure.

A combination of the aforementioned factors could potentially enhance the economic and trade cooperation between Tehran and Beijing and turn Iran into China's first trade partner in West Asia. Xi's visit to Iran is being considered a turning point in Sino-Iranian relations; a new era in which common interests and mutual needs will play the most important role in shaping the interaction between both countries.

Mohsen Shariatinia is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Institute for Regional Studies, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran.

Ehsan Razani is member of the School of Law and Politics, Islamic Azad University, Shahrood, Iran.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of

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