Work together for a bright future of China-Iran relations

XiJinping_2262685b by Xi Jinping,
President of the People’s Republic of China

As I am about to embark on my state visit to Iran at the invitation of President Rouhani, I am looking forward to in-depth exchange of views on deepening China-Iran relations in the new era as well as on major international and regional issues and working together with my Iranian hosts to bring the relationship to a new stage.

This will be my first trip to Iran, yet like many other Chinese, I do not feel like a stranger in your ancient and beautiful country, thanks to the Silk Road that linked our two great nations for centuries and to the many legendary stories recorded in history books of our friendly exchanges.

Over 2,000 years ago during the West Han Dynasty in China, the Chinese envoy Zhang Qian’s deputy came to Iran and received warm welcome. Seven centuries later during the Tang and Song dynasties, many Iranians came to China’s Xi’an and Guangzhou to study, practice medicine and do business. In the 13th century, the famous Iranian poet Saadi wrote about his unforgettable travel to Kashgar, Xinjiang. In the 15th century, a renowned Chinese navigator Zheng He from the Ming Dynasty led seven maritime expeditions, which took him to Hormuz in southern Iran three times.

The much-prized Persian carpet is weaved out of a fusion of China’s silk and Iran’s sophisticated techniques. And the exquisite blue and white porcelain is produced thanks to a mixture of Iran’s “smaltum” (a type of material containing cobalt, unique to Iran) and China’s advanced skills. Via Iran, China’s lacquerware, pottery, as well as papermaking, metallurgical, printing and gunpowder making skills were spread to the west end of Asia, and further on to Europe. And from Iran and Europe, pomegranate, grape, olive, as well as glass, gold and silver ware were introduced into China.

It almost seemed that our two countries were just a camel-ride or a boat trip away from each other. Indeed, the thousand-mile-long land and maritime silk roads made it possible for two ancient civilizations and peoples to embrace and befriend each other. As Saadi wrote, those that are far away and are of times long past deserve to be cherished more. In history, China and Iran made important contribution to opening the Silk Road and promoting exchanges between Eastern and Western civilizations. The China-Iran friendly exchanges in the 45 years of our diplomatic relations have continued to embody the Silk Road spirit of peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit.

Since the inception of our diplomatic ties in 1971, the China-Iran relationship has stood the test of international changes and maintained a momentum of sound and steady development. We have given each other mutual understanding and mutual trust in good times and bad. On the nuclear issue, China appreciates Iran’s assurance of not intending to develop nuclear weapons, supports Iran in upholding its legitimate rights and interests, and fully recognizes Iran’s contribution to the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In the next stage, we will work closely with Iran to ensure the smooth implementation of the JCPOA. Economically, our bilateral trade jumped from tens of millions of U.S. dollars in 1970s to 51.8 billion dollars in 2014, and China has stayed Iran’s biggest trading partner for six years in a row. Our two countries have also enjoyed very close people-to-people and cultural ties. As a Chinese saying goes, good friends feel close even when they are thousands of miles apart.

The friendship between our peoples has become a significant driver of the friendly relations between our two countries.

Xi: China supports sovereign Palestinian state

China openly declared that it supports the independence of a Palestinian state which has East Beit-ul-Moqaddas as its capital.
Speaking for the first time at Arab League headquarters in Egypt on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that the Palestinian issue should not be marginalized, as he declared Beijing’s support for the Palestinian peace process, RT reported.

“China firmly supports the Middle East peace process and supports the establishment of a State of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Beit-ul-Moqaddas as its capital,” Xi told the Arab League’s delegates.

The fate of Beit-ul-Moqaddas is one of the key issues in the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Both Israel and the Palestinians want the historic religious cradle as their capital.
While both Israel and Palestine declared Beit-ul-Moqaddas their capital, Palestinians usually refer to East Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the capital of their independent state.
Israel however refuses to share custody of the Holy City, which it annexed in 1967. In May 2015, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated, that Israel will forever keep Beit-ul-Moqaddas united under its sovereignty.
To make its claims stronger, Israel is continuing to build settlements in East Beit-ul-Moqaddas that are illegal under international law.
Xi stressed that the Palestinian issue should not “fall into oblivion” as it is of fundamental importance to peace in the Middle East.
The Chinese leader noted that the international community should promote the resumption of the talks that collapsed in April 2014.
In the meantime to aid the Palestinian economic hardship, Xi promised to provide 50 million Chinese Yuan ($7.6 million) in the form of a grant to support solar power station project in its territories to improve Palestinians’ well-being