China ready to boost ties with Iran, President Hu

Chinese President Hu Jintao said on July 5 that China is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Iran in various fields and in international organizations.

In a meeting with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref, who is in Astana to attend the fifth summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Hu congratulated Iran on its becoming a SCO observer and said China welcomes and supports Iran's efforts to establish and develop ties with the organization.

China and Iran have maintained frequent high-level contacts over the past years, with mutual political trust deepening and both sides sharing consensus on many major regional and international issues, Hu said.

As developing countries, both China and Iran are faced with the same task of developing the economy and improving the living standards of their peoples, Hu said.

There is a solid basis for developing the friendly ties and cooperation between the two countries, which is in the common interest of both sides, Hu said.

China stands ready to boost friendly exchanges and cooperation with the Iranian side in various fields and at different levels, and strengthen their coordination in international and regional organizations like the United Nations and the SCO, the Chinese president said.

Hu said that the economies of China and Iran are highly complementary and their cooperation has been fruitful, with two-way trade growing steadily in recent years and energy cooperation making headway.

Noting that China and Iran have become important partners for economic cooperation, the Chinese president expressed the hope that both sides would work together to bring their economic cooperation to a new height.

Hu also said China is ready to grant Iran the status of a tourist destination for Chinese citizens.

Aref, noting China's important place in Iran's foreign policy, said bilateral friendly ties have been growing steadily, with both sides enjoying sound coordination and cooperation in major international and regional affairs.

There is huge potential for the two countries to expand relations, said Aref, adding that Iran welcomes more Chinese enterprises to participate in the economic construction of the country.

Aref also expressed the hope that the two countries will further promote personnel exchanges and enhance cooperation in such fields as culture and education.

The two also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

Hu briefed Aref on China's position on the reform of the United Nations and Aref said he fully agreed.

The views and concerns of the developing countries should be taken into serious consideration in the process of UN reforms, Aref said, adding that the reforms should help consolidate the unity of member states and improve the world body's efficiency.