China announces visit of Iranian president

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi giving a joint press conference. © AFP / Iranian Presidency
RT | February 12, 2023

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is going to 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, among other elements, 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 news agency IRNA.

Also reporting on the upcoming visit, US outlet Politico said that it’s “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 those talks, the Chinese leader insisted that consolidating their strategic partnership was a common choice for both Beijing and Tehran.

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 into the SCO as a permanent member and also applied to join BRICS – the two international organizations in which China and Russia play a major role.