Hu expressed hope that ties can be taken to the "next level" (CTK)
June 16, 2006 -- Chinese President Hu Jintao today called for closer ties with Tehran after meeting Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Shanghai.
Hu praised Ahmadinejad's support for Chinese businesses in Iran when he was mayor of Tehran. Hu said he now hopes there will be many opportunities for the two countries to take relations to the "next level."
China and Iran have long had close economic ties -- especially in the oil and gas sectors. The two countries are negotiating a natural-gas deal that could be worth more than $100 billion.
Avoiding International Isolation
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on May 27 (epa)
DIPLOMATIC OFFENSIVE: As the United States and the European Union increase pressure on Iran regarding its nuclear program, Tehran has launched a wide-ranging and ambitious diplomatic offensive, including high-level state visits with countries including China, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. In May, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad participated in a high-profile summit of the so-called Developing 8 (D8) group of countries in Bali. Below are some links to RFE/RL's coverage of Iran's efforts to boost international support for its position.