Prospects very bright for Iran-China ties: ambassador

September 18, 2007

TEHRAN – Chinese Ambassador Liu Zhentang held a press conference at the Chinese Embassy in Tehran on Monday to commemorate the 58th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, which will occur on October 1.

He elaborated on the great economic achievements of China since the 1949 revolution, especially after China’s “open door policy” was introduced in 1978.
Mr. Liu said Iran and China enjoy “complementary” relations and called the outlook for relations between the two Asian nations “very promising.” The ambassador added that China recognizes Iran’s legitimate right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and confirms the statement by Iranian officials that Tehran “is not seeking nuclear arms.”
Following are excerpts of the ambassador’s remarks:
Since October 1, 1949 China’s population has doubled and reached about 1.3 billion people but the economy has grown amazingly.
In 1949, the steel production in China stood at about 150,000 tons per year but now it has reached the level of 500 million tons per year. The production has increased 3,300 times, more than the combined productions of U.S., Russia, and Japan.
In 1949, the annual oil production was about 120,000 tons and now it is about 180 million tons.
Now China has captured the first rank in the production of 120 goods in the world.
In 1949, China’s trade ties with the outside world were worth less than $1 billion; however, it has reached $1.76 trillion and it is expected to reach $2 trillion in the current year, just below the United States.
Now China is the largest producer of electronic devices in the world and about 45 percent of the Chinese population use cell phones.
In the past China suffered starvation and poverty but now it has become self-sufficient by producing about 500 million tons of grains per year and even exports agricultural products to other countries.
The standards of living have significantly risen so that the life expectancy has increased to 72 years, a two times increase since 1949.
Currently the U.S. is dependent on Chinese goods and 90 percent of shoes worn in U.S. are made in China. U.S. saves $30 billion by buying Chinese goods which are low in price and high in quality.
About 600,000 foreign companies are active in China which has led to the transfer of technology into the country.
Tourism revenue which was zero before 1978 reached $80 billion in 2006.
Peaceful foreign policy
China’s foreign policy is based on international peace, equality and development for all nations.
Due to such a foreign policy strategy, the U.S., as China’s main archfoe, has become Beijing’s biggest trade partner and this shows that “we can turn devil into a friend.”
Iran-China relations
The thousands-years relation between Iran and China has reached its “highest level” which can be an example of relations between the developing countries.
The relations between the two countries are “complementary.”
It was over 36 years ago that Iran and China established political relations and since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the political ties between the two countries have been expanding and the two countries have enjoyed mutual understanding.
Iran’s foreign policy is “a look to the east” with China as its main goal and this would benefit the two countries.
In 2006 China was Iran’s biggest trade partner and the trade ties between the two countries reached $14.5 billion and it is forecast to reach $20 billion in the current year. If the trade ties reach this rate it would show that trade ties between the two countries has expanded 200 times since the Iranian revolution.
Importing oil from Iran constitutes about two-thirds of China’s trade with Iran.
China exports machinery to Iran; for example most of the machinery used in the Tehran metro, such as rail and electricity facilities have been provided by China. Many of the machinery used in power plants such as the ones in Arak and Karun have been bought from China.
Since Iran has the second largest oil and gas reserves in the world, the relations between the two countries should focus on “energy cooperation”
Currently, China is cooperating with Iran in building two refineries and it is ready for more cooperation in this field.
China has wide telecommunications cooperation with Iran and China will soon establish an auto manufacturing company in Mazandaran Province.
Iran, China’s foreign policy interests
The prospect of the two countries’ relations is very bright. The two countries desire the development of the other side.
The two sides, enjoying ancient civilizations, are advocates of global peace.
Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful
“Iran has repeatedly said that it does not seek nuclear arms and that nuclear arms are against the teachings of Islam and we confirm it.”
Iran is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and it has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and it has the right to use nuclear technology for civilian purposes.
China’s position toward Iran’s nuclear issue is “praiseworthy.”
China defends Iran’s right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
We praise the nuclear deal made between Iran and the IAEA. “We hope that the ambiguities about Iran’s nuclear issue will soon be cleared up.”
“Since some countries, including the EU states, have some concerns about Iran’s nuclear program we suggest Iran to cooperation with them and clear up ambiguities.”
China hopes that the standoff over Iran’s nuclear dossier would be resolved soon so that the country would focus all its efforts on the economic development and the enhancement of the civilians’ living standards.
“Iran is an important trade partner to China and the U.S. has no right to invent excuses in this regard.”
Cooperation between China and Iran is quite “peaceful.”
U.S. always tries to politicize relations between countries.
“The cooperation between Iran and China is based on common interests and in line with the construction efforts in the two countries.”
The U.S. unilateralism in the world will not work. “The history has proven that unilateralism will not succeed. If unilateralism worked, the Iraqi and Afghan issues should have been resolved.”