Comments by Xu Xiujun, associate researcher with the Institute of World Economy and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; comics drawn by Tian Jinxue, Yang Nan
On January 22-23, Chinese President Xi Jinping had paid a state visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran at the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Xi held talks with Rouhani in Saadabad Palace, Tehran. Both sides reached a consensus to upgrade the bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership to push forward bilateral relations to a new level.
A Memorandum of Understanding on jointly pursuing the "Belt and Road" initiative and a slew of bilateral cooperation deals covering energy, industrial capacity, finance and other fields were also signed.
This is Xi's first visit to Iran. It has been 14 years since a Chinese top leader's last visit to Iran.
Xi's visit stands as a first visit paid by the head of a foreign country after an agreement was signed between the US, European Union (EU) and Iran over the Iranian nuclear issue, and the international community announced cancellation of sanctions against Tehran.
Xi's visit is of great significance. The elevation of Sino-Iranian ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership has created a new starting point for bilateral friendly relations.
Xi described the energy cooperation as a ballast stone, interconnection cooperation as a focal point, productivity cooperation as a compass, financial cooperation as a booster, which offers a solid foundation for mutual cooperation under the "Belt and Road" initiative, and guiding strategic docking for bilateral developments.
The Middle East media believe Xi's visit has opened a new chapter in Sino-Iranian relations and had drawn a successful conclusion for Xi's colorful and fruitful Middle East tour.