China Iran Strategic Partnership
China Iran Relations are foreign relations between the People’s Republic of China and Islamic Republic of Iran. These relations have been traditionally strong. Both nations maintain extensive cultural, economic, strategic and military cooperation.
Iran was among the first countries to recognize People’s Republic of China. Iran’s relations with the People’s Republic of China became stronger since then; the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements. China has Economic, Military and Technical cooperation with Iran. China cooperation with Iran has reached high economic points with substantial investment from China in Iran’s infrastructural expansion. China and Iran also share a close military relation, with China supplying a range of modern armaments to the Iran military.
China and Iran have maintained long-standing military ties, with China supplying arms, military equipment and training to Iran. Both countries, valued as important states in Asia and Middle East, Iran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) aimed to bolster military and strategic cooperation and counter the spread of western influence in the region.
Iran today continues to align itself politically with the People's Republic of China, Iran has observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and aspires to membership to this organization, in which China plays a leading role.
In July 2004, Iranian parliamentary speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel stressed China's support for Iran's nuclear programs. China Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing also said that his country opposes Iran being referred to United Nations Security Council over its nuclear program, and claimed that the Iranian government had a very positive attitude in its cooperation with the IAEA.
China and Iran have worked to negotiate a preferential investment agreement, aiming to considerably increase investments, especially in transport, telecommunications, manufacturing, tourism and other industries.
Chinese companies have also invested significantly in industrial and construction projects developing highways, pipelines and canals.
China finds Iran a permanent partner for its exports and a source for its growing energy demand. In March 2004, Zhuhai Zhenrong Corporation, a Chinese state-run company, signed a 25-year contract to import 110 million metric tons of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Iran.
This was followed by another contract between Sinopec and Iran, signed in October of the same year. The deal, worth $100 billion, adds an extra 250 million tons of LNG to China's energy supply, to be extracted from Iran's Yadavaran field over a 25-year period.
In 2001, the volume of trade between Iran and China stood at $3.3 Billion and in 2005 the volume of China Iran trade hit $9.2 billion. China's exports to Iran have experienced particularly rapid growth in the past five years, with China replacing Japan as the world's second largest exporter to Iran.
Iran's imports from China rose by 200% between 2000 and 2005. Iran’s Deputy Minister of Commerce Mehdi Ghazanfari said trade exchanges between Iran and China will exceed $25 billion in 2008.
Ali Akbar Saheli, Iran's former representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency said that the two countries "mutually complement each other. They have industry and we have energy resources".
China and Iran maintaining and promoting closer cooperation in the area of Defense. China's defense exports to Iran have tripled.
China exports ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles, Rocket launchers and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, Air to Air missiles, Air to surface missiles, Deep penetration bombs and rockets, mortar ammunition. Night vision devices, artillery armor mortars, security equipment, Tanks, F7G jets, Navel Vessels, radars, communicant equipment and other military assistance to Iran.
China and Iran has been eager to boost its capabilities for high-tech aerial warfare and restructure and reorient its military’s to respond to the new emerging challenges. China and Iran also cooperating in the area of military training and exercises.
J-10 fighter jets deal - The Russian news agency Novosti reported that Business & Financial Markets said Iran has signed a deal with China to buy two squadrons/24 of J-10 fighter jets with Russian-made AL-31FN engines. The total cost of the planes is estimated at $1 billion, and deliveries are expected between 2008 and 2010. China and Iran have both denied this and have rejected these claims as propaganda.
JF-17 fighter jets deal - According to Global Security, in July 2003 Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Corporation (CAIC) unveiled the new JF-17 fighter jets and China supposedly received orders from Iran. JF-17 entered production in 2006.
In a recent broadcast the "Mehr News Agency" has reported that they (the reporters) have seen and counted a dozen of Russian and Chinese fighter jets in a training exercise that has taken place on the 15th and 16th of September 2008.