0559 GMT December 17, 2017
More than 2,000 years ago a Chinese state delegation dispatched by the Chinese Emperor arrived in Iran after a long difficult journey.
The route that they took was the ancient Silk Road which linked the Iranian and Chinese civilizations. Then, Iranian artists and industrialists carried Iranian products on horses and camels via this road and Chinese ships began unloading their consignments via Iran’s southern port of Hormuz.
This is a historical image of mutual learning, bilateral trade and beautiful stories of two-sided interactions which have been transmitted from generation to generation.
These days, the Silk Road has been experiencing major transformations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the initiative of “One Road One Belt” in 2013 and called on the countries which are situated on the route to establish a society with joint interests and future for each other which acts as a driving force behind the project.
Since its implementation, the project has made tangible progress and many countries, including Iran have supported it. These nations have deepened their cooperation through political coordination, promoting communication, free trade, financial integration and popular links which have produced preliminary results.
Mechanisms of financing have been implemented and communications infrastructures have been formed. Industrial cooperation has taken place and the construction phase has been advancing. The bulk of trade and investment has also been growing.
These achievements have established solid foundation for the development of the project.
Iran has been one of the most important trade centers on the route for centuries, which geographically has a strategic status.
Since the implementation of the JCPOA between Iran and the P5+1 in 2016, the Islamic Republic’s domestic and international status has enhanced which has provided more favorable conditions for cooperation between Tehran and Beijing.
Iran and China have maintained friendly relations for a long time. The Chinese president’s trip to Iran in January 2016 was successful and he and his Iranian counterpart reached important agreements to cement bilateral ties.
Since then, China’s defense minister and its deputy foreign minister as well as the Iranian foreign and economy ministers have travelled to each other’s countries to implement MOUs signed between the Iranian and Chinese presidents to deepen bilateral relations in all fields.
China has been Iran’s top trade partner for eight consecutive years. The Iranian and Chinese companies are cooperating in many fields, including energy, transport, machinery, Metallurgy, hydropower, electricity, telecommunication, construction materials and auto industry.
Construction operations for the high-speed Tehran-Qom-Isfahan railroad are underway and the reconstructing plans of Tehran-Mashhad railroad will soon begin. A new metro line in Tehran became operational and Tehran-Yiwu cargo trains have been launched.
Two important oil projects namely, North Azadegan and Yadavaran were completed by the CNPC and SINOPEC companies late last year; the opening ceremonies of which were held in attendance of President Hassan Rouhani.
Besides, CNPC and NIOC signed a new deal for developing South Pars gas fields.
Nowadays, many Chinese companies have begun trade activities with Iran and the Chinese investments have led to the establishment of many industrial and scientific towns as well as auto-manufacturing centers.
Presently, Chinese trademarks such as Huawei and Chery are very popular in Iran and trade among the Iranian and Chinese societies is growing.
In late April, the Chinese deputy prime minister had a successful trip to Iran where she held discussions about technology, education, science and culture with Iranian officials. The Confucius Institute in Tehran University has attracted many students for learning Chinese language.
The Chinese Embassy along with the China-Iran Friendship Association has been holding Iranian and Chinese new year festivals in Iran for five consecutive years which have been welcomed by the local society.
In August, Tehran performed cultural programs pertaining to China’s Xinjiang for the first time.
In March, Iranian and Chinese soccer teams put in a brilliant performance in their encounter in the 2018 Russia’ World Cup Asian qualifiers at the full-packed 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium.
Cooperation between Iran and China in “One Road One Belt” initiative will lead to a brilliant future.
We along with our Iranian counterparts will make efforts to establish the Silk Road green, healthy and smart.
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was earlier held in Beijing. High-ranking guests from countries, including Iran and China convened in Beijing to discuss the preliminary projects for future cooperation.
I certainly believe that cooperation between Iran and China will inspire and strengthen this important event.