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China pushing ‘cooperation’ with Iran after attack on Israel

China flag. (Unsplash)
April 17, 2024

China appeared to offer Iran diplomatic support by telling Iran’s foreign affairs minister on Monday that China is “ready to steadily advance practical cooperation” with Iran despite the country’s missile and drone attack against Israel over the weekend.

During a phone call on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian, “China is ready to steadily advance practical cooperation in various fields with Iran and promote greater development of China-Iran relations.”

Bloomberg reported that while Wang’s statement did not disclose the type of cooperation China is prepared to advance with Iran, the foreign minister’s comments appear to be a symbol of diplomatic support following Iran’s attack on Israel that took place on Saturday. Saturday’s attack marked the first time Iran had launched a direct attack on Israel from its own soil.

According to Bloomberg, China has acknowledged Iran’s position that its attack against Israel was “limited” and that Iran was “exercising its right of self-defense.” The Times of Israel reported that China also believes Iran can “handle the situation well and spare the region further turmoil.”

Bloomberg reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi last year in Beijing and pledged to strengthen the relationship between the two nations. The outlet also reported that China is one of Iran’s top customers for its oil industry and that China has played an important role in the negotiations surrounding a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

READ MORE: Videos: US, UK shoots down 300+ Iranian missiles, drones

In a statement shared by the Chinese Embassy in the United States on Sunday, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “China expresses deep concern over the current escalation in Middle East situation and calls on relevant parties to exercise calm and restraint to prevent further escalations. The ongoing situation is the latest spillover of the Gaza conflict.”

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson called for “no more delays” in the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2728, which calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The Foreign ministry spokesperson added, “China calls on the international community, especially countries with influence, to play a constructive role for the peace and stability of the region.”

According to The Times of India, Yuval Waks, who serves as the deputy chief of the Israeli mission in China, explained that Israel was disappointed in China’s response to Iran’s attack. Waks stated, “We were hoping for stronger condemnation and clear acknowledgment of Israel’s right to defend itself.”