ISSN 2686 - 9675 (Print)
ISSN 2782 - 1935 (Online)

The lion and the dragon: a new stage in Sino-Iranian strategic partnership

In July 2020, a new partnership between Iran and China on economic and security issues was established, detailed in an 18-page proposed agreement that will clear the way for billions of dollars in Chinese investment in energy and other sectors. The proposed 25-year roadmap between Iran and China is titled Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The partnership will significantly expand its Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China will receive regular and preferential supplies of Iranian oil over the next 25 years. The document also describes the deepening military cooperation that could potentially give China a foothold in the region through joint training and exercises, joint weapons research and development, and intelligence sharing. All of this could undermine the Trump administration's efforts to isolate the Iranian government from its nuclear and military ambitions. It was argued that "even a partial implementation of the Sino-Iranian strategic partnership will signal a serious escalation of the United States strategic rivalry with China and at the same time will punch a hole in the administration's campaign of "maximum pressure" on Iran.

Keywords: China, Iran, Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Belt and Road Initiative

2 — 2021
Aghavni A. Harutyunyan