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    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands at the conclusion of their joint press conference at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016

    Beijing Intends to Boost Trade, Education, and Tourism Ties With Tehran

    © AP Photo / Ebrahim Noroozi
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    The lifting of economic sanctions against Iran has heralded a "new era" in relations between Beijing and Tehran, according to the Chinese newspaper Renmin Ribao.

    With the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran already in place, Tehran and Beijing have started to revive bilateral trade and economic ties, the Chinese newspaper Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) reported.

    The newspaper quoted Hua Liming, former Chinese Ambassador to Iran, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands, as saying that Sino-Iranian economic and trade ties, which have suffered severe setbacks over the past 30-plus years, are set to enter a new phase in the coming years.

    "As the sanctions have been lifted, Iran's oil exports are back on track," Hua said, adding that the Iranian economy is most likely to benefit not only from oil exports to China, but also from Chinese investment and technology.

    The newspaper also cited Li Shaoxian, an expert on Middle East studies at Ningxia University, as saying that promoting Sino-Iranian economic cooperation was a highlight of Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to Iran.

    Li remained upbeat about Iran's future, saying that "if Iran is able to take advantage of this opportunity, its rapid growth can be expected in the near future."

    At the same time, Le predicted that China is almost sure to face pressure from all those countries which are currently seeking to cooperate with Iran.In this vein, Li underscored that there will certainly be more space for Sino-Iranian cooperation, touting China as Iran's largest trade partner and a strategic complement to Iran.

    Li also suggested that according to the framework of China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy, areas of bilateral cooperation can be expanded beyond the infrastructure and energy fields.

    Against the backdrop of closer trade ties, Hua also called for more cooperation in education, tourism and other cultural exchanges.

    "Iran is rich in tourist resources. With the domestic political situation in the country being stabilized, Iran may become a popular tourist destination for Chinese in the near future," Li concluded.


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