On Tuesday, Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Hou Chunhua started a visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, days after the Arab-Chinese summit in Saudi Arabia.
The visit comes at a remarkable time following the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Riyadh last week, during which Beijing raised its relations with the Arab world to a new level.
At a press conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin confirmed that Deputy Prime Minister Hua has started his visit to Tehran.
The spokesman said that the relations between China and Iran are based on “traditional friendship”.
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He pointed to the conclusion of an agreement to develop and strengthen the “comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two countries, and that its implementation began at the beginning of this year.
He noted that China is willing to develop communication and coordination with Iran to push forward bilateral relations.
“China will continue to work with Iran for the sound and stable development of practical cooperation,” he said.
He expressed Beijing’s confidence that the deputy prime minister’s visit to Tehran will play a positive role in deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Iran.
On Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador to Tehran to protest against what was stated in the statement of the Chinese-Gulf summit regarding the disputed islands with the UAE.