Iranian President Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi will pay a visit to China amid intensive preparations to finalize a 25-year strategic partnership plan between Tehran and Beijing.
This is the first state visit by an Iranian president to China in two decades, which indicates the importance China attaches to Raisi’s visit. As a result, Raisi will be accorded an official reception with the highest diplomatic protocols.
In what further indicates the importance of the visit, President Raisi met with Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, to brief him on the agenda of his visit to China. During this meeting, President Raeisi informed Ayatollah Khamenei of the details of his imminent work trip to China. Ayatollah Khamenei wished the president success, according to a statement by khamenei.ir.
Raisi will be accompanied by many cabinet members such as the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Economy, Transportation, Petroleum, Agriculture, and Trade. Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and the Governor of Iran’s Central Bank also will accompany the president.
A day before his three-day visit, the Iranian president penned an opinion piece for the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. He said Tehran and Beijing, which have signed a 25-year partnership agreement to expand mutual cooperation in many areas, have a lot in common. They take similar stances toward global developments, are against imperialism and unilateralism, and insist on the significance of respecting the rights and national interests of other nations, Raisi wrote.
The Iranian president stated that both nations oppose unilateralism and coercive measures, such as oppressive sanctions, as the primary causes of crises and insecurity and that they should work together to achieve true multilateralism in addition to global justice, international equality, and a stable world order.
The visit comes amid yearslong talks between Iran and China to finalize their 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership. The agreement is expected to feature high during the visit.
A senior political aide to the Iranian president said the partnership plan will be taken on step further during the visit. The aide, Mohammad Jamshidi, who is the deputy presidential chief of staff for political affairs, told state media that Raisi will finalize mechanisms for implementing the 25-year Iran-China comprehensive agreement during his trip to China.
“In this trip, the mechanisms for operationalizing the comprehensive agreement of Iran and China will be finalized,” Jamshidi said when asked to comment on the trip
“The goals of this trip are strategic both politically and economically,” Jamshidi said, according to IRNA.
He added, “We have advanced the mechanisms of implementing the comprehensive agreement between Iran and China, which was an agreement on paper at the beginning of the administration, and its finalization will be followed in this trip.”
Iran and China have long been partners, particularly in economic terms. China remains Iran’s biggest trading partner with a total trade volume of more than $20 billion. And there is a mutual willingness to further boost that amount. Jamshidi said the Raisi administration has been seeking to expand trade with Asia, a policy orientation that paid off as Iran’s foreign trade has registered new records under Raisi. Jamshidi said Iran’s trade under Raisi has even broken records registered after the signing of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).