Issue Brief on “China – Iran Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: Prospects for Pakistan”


In July 2020, New York Times[1] ran a front-page story on a 25 year- strategic partnership between China and Iran. In a world gripped by the pandemic, this news caused much array. However, in the backdrop of noticeable silence from the Chinese quarters, the fracas gradually died down.

Just when discussion of the so-called deal had all but vanished, almost a year later, on March 27, 2021, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi took part in a ceremony in Tehran, where they put ink to paper, officiating what is being called the ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.’[2]Talks regarding this agreement had started during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iran in 2016. The arrangement which coincides with fifty years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Iran is said to be designed as a roadmap for trade, economic, transportation and defense cooperation.

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