(AP) - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will meet with his counterpart Xi Jinping during his three-day trip in China starting Tuesday, as the two U.S. rivals seek further cooperation.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the announcement Sunday, saying Raisi’s visit was at Xi’s invitation.
Raisi will meet with Xi and their delegations will sign cooperation documents, according to Iran’s state news agency IRNA. Meeting with Iranian and Chinese business leaders and Iranian expatriates in China is also part of his itinerary, the report added.
Raisi’s visit is expected to deepen ties between the two political and economic partners that are opposed to the U.S.-led Western domination of international affairs.
The two leaders met last September in Samarkand, Uzbekistan when Xi underscored China’s support for Iran.
In December, Raisi pledged to remain committed to deepening the strategic partnership during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua in Tehran.
China is a major buyer of Iranian oil and an important source of investment in the Mideast country. In 2021, Iran and China signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement that covered major economic activities from oil and mining to industry, transportation and agriculture.
Both countries have had tense relations with the United States and have sought to project themselves as a counterweight to American power alongside Russia.
Washington has accused Iran of selling hundreds of attack drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and has sanctioned executives of an Iranian drone manufacturer. At that same time, ties between Moscow and Beijing have grown stronger.
Iran on Saturday celebrated the 44th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution amid nationwide anti-government protests and heightened tensions with the West.
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