Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua will conclude his state visit to Tehran, Iran today. Although demoted from the CCP’s Politburo
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua will conclude his state visit to Tehran, Iran today.
Although demoted from the CCP’s Politburo earlier this year, Chunhua was entrusted to lead a Chinese delegation first to the UAE on December 10th and then to Iran. The first meeting with UAE ministers was aimed at improving bilateral relations and building on the success of last week’s China-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in which Xi Jinping met with Arab-Gulf leaders to enhance security and energy ties.
Iran has expressed disapproval of the GCC-Summit, especially as China failed to explicitly support Iran in its ongoing diplomatic dispute with the UAE over islands in the Strait of Hormuz. Unlike Chunhua’s visit to Dubai that focused on increasing trade and development cooperation, his visit to Tehran will inevitably touch on China’s gravitation towards the Gulf States amid continued anti-government protests against the Islamic Republic.
As things stand, China will presumably wield its status as Iran’s largest oil importer to hold Iranian complaints at bay while expanding its association with the more stable Gulf states. Going forward, China’s need to import oil will likely continue to take priority over geopolitical commitments to the Ayatollah’s unpopular regime.