September 30, 2018 | Lodhi’s Speech at UN
September 29, 2018 | China rebuts US allegations
| Russian missiles challenge
September 28, 2018 | Iran defies America
| Britain and the EU
As the Eurasian roadmap unravels, Russia and its ally China, stand in firm support of Iran.
Chinese companies are developing oil fields in Yadavaran and North Azadegan and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is at work developing the largest natural gas field in the world, South Pars.
A $3 billion deal is also on the anvil to upgrade Iran’s oil refineries, and Sinopec has joined up with National Iranian Oil Company to upgrade the Abadan oil refinery.
China’s President Xi Jinping, meantime has announced a plan to increase bilateral trade to US$600 billion over the next decade, as Iran is a key fulcrum to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Ominous clouds were seen on the horizon when the US threatened to impose sanctions on Iran if the nuclear deal unraveled. This had European banks backing. But it opened the floodgates for China to step in with $15 billion in credit lines.
The Export-Import Bank of China has already provided $ 8.5 billion in loans to Iran and the China Export and Credit Insurance Corp Sinosure promises more, with an MOU signed to help Chinese companies invest in Iranian projects.
That’s not all. China’s National Machinery Industry Corp signed an $845 million contract to build a 410km railway to connect Tehran, Hamedan and Sanandaj and rumors persist that China is also interested in financing the Chabahar port, hitherto assigned to India.
Adding insult to injury Iran’s Aseman Airlines went Russia’s way when it decided to buy 20 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s while Iran Air Tours has ordered another 20, to see China smiling all the way to the bank.
The US and Iran and Russia frictions have worked in China’s favor and it sees no problem in Iran and Russia drawing closer together.
On the Syrian front, China is keen to invest in the reconstruction of Syria, so it will unlikely oppose Russia’s position in that war zone.
On the contrary, at a recently concluded SCO moot, Russia and China issued a joint statement to make it clear that China stands at besides Russia, should the US impose sanctions on it, or on Iran as a full-fledged SCO member.