News & Reports News Year 2013 April 2013 Chinese Trade Official: Western Sanctions Not to Affect Tehran-Beijing Ties

Chinese Trade Official: Western Sanctions Not to Affect Tehran-Beijing Ties

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Chinese trade official stressed that western sanctions cannot undermine Tehran-Beijing relations.     

Head of China's Hubei Provincial investment and trade delegation to Iran made the remarks in a meeting with Iran's East Azarbaijan Governor General Ahmad Alireza-Beigi in the Northwestern city of Tabriz on Sunday.

The Chinese official pointed to the US-led western sanctions against Iran, and said, "These sanctions will not influence our relations with Iran and we will continue our path of expanding ties with Tehran."

Earlier this week, Iran's Envoy to Beijing Mehdi Safari also voiced Tehran's enthusiasm for further increase in mutual cooperation with China, specially in trade fields.

Addressing a group of Iranian residents in China's Southern province of Guangdong, Safari stressed the expansion of economic ties between Iran and China.

"Iranian merchants should do their best to increase trade exchanges with China in particular in field of exports," the Iranian diplomat stated.

Trade between Iran and China in the past year was estimated at $45 billion.

Iran is currently China's third largest supplier of crude, providing Beijing with roughly 12 percent of its total annual oil consumption.

According to the figures released by China's General Administration of Customs in January, China's crude oil imports from Iran reached 2.5 million tons (mt) in December 2012, up 43 percent from November.

The official data showed that China's daily crude imports from Iran in December 2012 also rose 3.6 percent compared to December 2011.

It marks China's biggest crude import from Iran since it won a renewal of exemption from the United States' oil embargo against Iran.