China and Iran have agreed to increase trade between the two countries beyond $50 billion in the coming year.
MohammadJavad Mohammadizadeh, Iranian vice president, met with China’s Deputy Prime Minister Li Keqiang today to discuss mutual relations and regional and international issues, according to IRNA.
Mohammadizadeh told IRNA that the talks were “pleasant and beneficial”, adding that the two countries are determined to expand relations.
“In view of the historic relations between the two countries and the determination of their leaders to expand relations in various fields, both sides have expressed the hope to increase the volume of bilateral trade beyond $50 billion in the coming year,” Mohammadizadeh told IRNA.
Trade between the two countries in the past year was estimated at $45 billion.
Mohammadizadeh reported that at the meeting, both sides “stressed their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the two countries, the peaceful resolution of differences, the avoidance of force and their opposition to unilateralism, while also emphasizing the multipolar nature of the world.”
China, like Russia, has consistently opposed the U.S. pressures on Iran and the West’s economic sanctions imposed on the Iranian financial sector and petroleum products. China has refused to comply with U.S. requests to decrease oil imports from Iran and instead has increased its trade with the country.
The U.S. has announced that its sanctions will target countries that trade with Iran, but China has challenged this decision and refused to alter its policies.
Analysts say China is hoping that Iran will be more flexible on the price and terms of its petroleum sales, given the circumstances.