President Xi hailed relations between the two all-weather regional allies, stressing that the 2016 comprehensive strategic partnership has “strengthened mutual trust” and both sides have made “steady progress in mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.”
China “attaches great importance” to its relations with Iran, and is “willing to deepen cooperation”, Xi told Raeisi, as quoted by Chinese state-run daily Global Times.
The Chinese leader also underlined cooperation between the two countries in combating COVID-19, saying the two sides have been “helping each other since the onset of the pandemic.”
Xi said he “highly values” the China-Iran relationship and is keen on taking the 50th anniversary of ties as an opportunity to deepen their friendship, promote cooperation in various fields and enrich the comprehensive strategic pact for the benefit of the two countries and their peoples.
Raeisi on his part hailed the two countries as “ancient civilizations” and said the friendship between the two sides is like an “ancient tree that draws nutrients from thousands of years of friendly exchanges”.
He reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to building stronger ties with China as “unwavering”.
Raeisi also stressed that as bilateral relations between the two sides enter the sixth decade, Iran will continue to enhance the level of strategic cooperation with China, strengthen communication to expand practical cooperation in various fields and continuously deepen Iran-China relations.
On August 16, 1971, China and Iran formally established diplomatic relations, which have only strengthened over the years with the two countries emerging as regional bulwarks.
The Chinese president was one of the first world leaders to greet Iran’s new president following his landslide win in the June presidential vote, Press TV wrote.
In his message on June 21, Xi noted that China and Iran are “comprehensive strategic partners”, and that he “highly values” the development of China-Iran ties.
Earlier this month, after Raeisi’s swearing-in-ceremony, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing believes that under his leadership, Iran will “achieve greater progress in nation building and socioeconomic development”.
Xi visited Iran in 2016 when the two countries announced the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership, opening a new chapter in their bilateral ties.
The long-term strategic pact was formally signed in March this year by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Li in Tehran.