China, Iran celebrate 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations

09:18, July 16, 2011      

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Iran and China on Friday celebrated here the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, as a Chinese leader visited to strengthen political and economic ties.

He Guoqiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, delivers a speech during a ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Iran in Tehran, capital of Iran, July 15, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

He Guoqiang, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) currently on a three-day official visit, and Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh attended a reception held by the Chinese Embassy to mark the occasion.

China and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1971 and bilateral ties have developed steadily in recent years.

In 2010, bilateral trade reached a record 29.3 billion U.S. dollars, 38.5 percent up on the previous year. China has also given financial and technological support to some major infrastructure projects in Iran.

He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, is the second senior CPC official to visit Iran in less than a year.

Li Changchun, also a member of the Standing Committee, paid a visit to Iran last September.

The visits underline the close political and economic relations between China and Iran, which has been engaged in bitter diplomatic clashes with the United States and some other Western countries over its nuclear program.

The West has alleged that Iran has been pursuing a covert nuclear arms project and slapped harsh sanctions on the country, but Tehran has repeatedly said its nuclear endeavor is solely for peaceful purpose.

China, while respecting the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council against Iran, opposes some of the harsher punishments taken by Western countries and has maintained business and trade relations with Iran. China also calls for a peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.

Source: Xinhua
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