Apr 11, 2021, 7:10 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 84291714
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Iran-China deal to boost trade, guarantee regional security: Speakers

Islamabad, April 11, IRNA -- Speakers at an international webinar in Pakistan have termed the Iran-China 25-year cooperation agreement as an important step to counter US influence in the region which would also enhance trade and regional security.

They said the $400 billion financial cooperation will help Iran to enhance trade ties with China and Middle East countries.

The panelists said through this Beijing has not only secured alternative access to hydrocarbons but has also further strengthened its influence across the Indian Ocean.

They said China has nurtured friendly bilateral relations with Iran over the decade and have signed over 17 agreements worth US$ 18-20 billion and promised to increase trade relations between the two countries in the next 10 years to US$ 600 billion. This would be a big dent in the US interests in the region.

Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) organized the webinar on the theme “China-Iran new framework of cooperation – prospects for regional security and economic growth”.

The panel of expert included former ISI chief and strategic analyst Lieutenant General (r) Asad Durrani, Senior Research Fellow at the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs Dr. Dan Ge, CPEC Expert Hassan Daud Butt, Research Fellow at the Tehran International Studies and Research Institute (TISRI) Dr. Ehsan Sadeghi, Research Fellow, East-West Institute (London) Dr. Najam Abbas, and Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed.

Lieutenant General (r) Asad Durrani said the world is a chessboard where strategic moves keep on rolling for new alliances and partnerships based on win-win strategies.

“The China-Iran cooperation agreement is one of the strategic moves that would have a significant impact in the region by curtailing the US influence and increasing Chinese trade and strategic collaboration in the region,” he said.

He said China was already buying oil from Iran and the major collaboration that was in the process for a decade would bring about a significant change in the region. “It would be a deep dent to the US interests in the region, and may help Iran to bring the US back to the nuclear deal that the US had already opted out unilaterally,” he added.

Dr. Dan Ge termed the China-Iran deal an inevitable outcome of the decades-old friendly ties between both countries. China cannot surrender to any pressures from any international player but keep pursuing its objectives consistently.

“Iran is an old friend that has been kept under pressure unnecessarily. China has been supporting Iran and will keep doing so. It is necessary for the regional economy and independent partnerships,” she added.

Hassan Daud Butt said we live in interesting times where geopolitics, economic integration, and technology are shaping the future. “It is a time where both Iran and Pakistan are at the crossroads of their history where their population is growing and youth have many expectations for the future. In this crucial time, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers a ray of hope where both countries are strong partners and can learn from the Chinese poverty alleviation models that have 800 Million people have been taken out of poverty. I think if Iran and Pakistan can benefit from rail and maritime connectivity through Chabahar and Gwadar ports, both the countries can leverage from their strategic location and stamp their importance in the BRI framework and global economy,” he added.

Dr. Ehsan Sadeghi said the signing of the Iran-China Deal is a turning point and a new chapter in relations between two countries after 50 years of establishing relations between two countries.

“This deal is not an agreement but it is a roadmap for designing a better future for relations and communications between Iran and China. We are now witnessing the overlap of the key interests of both Iran and China in the face of international and regional developments, especially the importance of multilateralism between rising and nonwestern powers for solving international issues and problems,” he added.

Dr. Najam Abbas said Pakistan shall welcome the fact that China now considers cooperation with Iran as a substantive part of its BRI agenda. “In future, Pakistan has much to gain if Iran could well serve as a crossroad of corridors providing logistical linkages for energy transportation, commerce, trade as well as tourism for its neighbors too. The 25-year cooperation plan reflects Beijing’s high level of involvement at a huge scale with increased investment and increased participation in promoting the development of ports, trade-free zones, and communication infrastructure which will help Iran in becoming a vital logistic link in the BRI landscape,” he added.

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