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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

China defends Iran oil trade despite US push

By Li Ying (Global Times)

09:03, January 12, 2012

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese leaders pledged Wednesday to enhance cooperation to advance the global economic recovery, but still left the Iran sanctions dispute unresolved.

Geithner met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping Wednesday amid escalating international tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions a day after the White House accused Tehran of ”blatant disregard for its responsibilities.”

Washington is ”in the early stages of a broad global diplomatic effort to take advantage of this new legislation to significantly intensify the pressure on Iran,” a senior US official told journalists in Beijing Wednesday.

However, China Wednesday said it was ”not reasonable” to expect it to comply with what it says are ”unilateral” sanctions imposed by the US. ”Iran is also an extremely big oil supplier to China, and we hope that China’s oil imports won’t be affected, because this is needed for our development,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun told a news conference.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin also defended China’s oil trade with Iran, saying Beijing’s energy needs do not have anything to do with the Tehran’s nuclear issue and should not be affected.

"On economic growth, on financial stability around the world, on non-proliferation, we have what we view as a very strong, cooperative relationship with your government and we are looking forward to building on that,” said Geithner as he met the vice president.

Xi said Geithner’s visit is ”significant” for the stability and development of bilateral relations in 2012, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Jia Jinjing, an independent economist based in Beijing, told the Global Times that the main topics in Sino-US trade have not changed, such as currency and high-tech exports; but, the two countries need to discuss the old topics when faced with new situations, referring to US sanctions on Iran.

"The US dollar is the world’s default currency mainly because oil-rich countries use it as the currency in settlement. Once the unrest in Iran affects the crude and creates serious waves in the market, the US dollar can not escape suffering, which, of course, could have influence on Sino-US trade, even the world economy,” Jia said.

Han Xiaoping, chief information officer of Chinese energy website, told the Global Times that sanctions imposed on Iran are happening too soon for China, which buys 20-22 percent of the Islamic state’s crude oil.

"China’s National Petroleum Reserve (NPR) can only cover for about a month while other countries’ NPR, such as Japan, would not find any difficulties in dealing with an oil-supply shortage for more than three months. China has to move fast to assure alternatives in case the unrest affects its oil trade with Iran,” Han said.

Han pointed out Premier Wen’s trip, starting on Saturday, to top oil supplier Saudi Arabia could be important if China turns elsewhere for crude. ”Reducing crude purchases from Iran could actually benefit China’s energy reform in the long run. We are too dependent on the overseas markets.”

Agencies contributed to this story


Leave your comment5 comments

  1. Name

PstNjppbk at 2012-03-11109.230.216.*
I'm not saying that scaoil welfare has destroyed any liberal Euro economies YET. I'm saying that in the next decades it will be increasingly unsustainable to provide the same level of scaoil benefits to people who see themselves as entitled to be taken care of while they live the good life of short work weeks and long annual holidays and labor contracts which make it impossible to lay off workers when demand is down. The unemployment among youthful workers is hit the hardest by such unrealistic practices, by the way. In the US, our problem is (defense we gotta give up that habit of protecting Europe pronto IMO and) scaoil security which according to the liberals is in quite good condition duh, I guess they are math challenged. We need to keep control of defense spending and government waste (aka pork barrell spending) while we keep n scaoil programs at the current level. (Scary thought, Chris, the Red States have a much higher birth rate than the Blue. The crazy right-wing red-necks are reproducing themselves like fundalmentalists in the ME, heh.) You are quite correct that cheap foreign labor undercuts most developed nation's economies. That is not going to change. The world now has a global economy and it's not going to get any better. The underdeveloped nations are seeking a piece of the pie now Asia, but soon, in this century, African nations will join in. South America is already making lots of noise about scaoil justice which means they believe that if they fight capitalism, they will get ahead economically duh, fat chance. There is an awful lot of denial goin' on in liberal mind set. You, yourself, are not a fan of cheap foreign labor, etc but it's all part of the scaoil justice equation that you guys are always goin' on about. I believe in justice too, to some extent, but I'm a realist in seeubg that the labor unions of any nation are not going to stop this labor competition. You might as well have out-lawed motor cars in the early 20th century because it was putting buggy manufacturers out of business not too mention black-smiths and buggy whip makers. You cannot stop technology and you cannot take western economies back to the 1950s. We have to learn to live in a different manner and run our scaoil management in light of the economic realities imposed upon us by a force bigger than any one leader or nation or super-power.
Nic at 2012-01-14115.135.75.*
Why should China listen to USA?Tell them to pack up and send their soldiers home from Asia. If they don't listen to you why should you listen to them?Don't trust the Saudi, you should have a lot of avenues to buy your needed oil. One day, Saudi will fall with the Arab's Spring And, you are not affected by it.Let NATO and USA go and sanction Iran, if you can get cheap oil out of their conflict, why not? After all, it is good business you want right?
McCarthy at 2012-01-12206.125.70.*
If China secures it"s oil from the Saudi"s they will be falling right into the United States trap. In essence China would be then at the mercy of the United States for their oil supply. Why? Because the Saudi government and the US olicharcy are in the same bed. If push comes to shove the US will have China cut off from those oil supplies during any conflict between the two. This move is unwise and dangerous for China. China should let it be known that China will not be pushed out of the independent Iran oil market and become dependent on US controlled oil sources. Remember first Libya now Iran, until China has no where to go for oil except through US controlled sources. The US will then dictate to China terms and the conditions of China"s future. Remember what Rommel said "He who controls the oil, controls the world". True then and true now.
humayun at 2012-01-1276.65.104.*
China should not be disturbed and focus on its own development. the western strategy is to stop CHINDIA"s rise.
Huaqiao at 2012-01-1275.72.239.*
You scratch my back and I will do the same. You want my oil, you said we are friends, but you turn away when I got bullying, don"t expect anything cheap if you can"t find oil anywhere else.

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