China has sent an emergency SOS to Iran. Beijing wants energy supplies from Iran as quickly as possible and has activated its 25-year cooperation agreement with Iran.
China and Iran implement the strategic agreement
Beijing and Tehran have reportedly started implementing a strategic agreement, strengthening economic and political cooperation between the two countries. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian announced the start of the partnership implementation on Friday in east China’s Wuxi.
The highly secretive deal was signed by the two countries last year. After Biden’s election, China had rushed to sign a 25-year cooperation agreement with Iran, under which, it will spend $400 billion in the Shi’ite country as a consideration for a secure supply of oil to boost China’s growing economy.
China wants Iranian oil
China wants to make huge investments in Iranian gas, oil and petrochemical products. With this, China wants to revive its energy trade with Iran. Beijing used to be one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil before former US President Donald Trump scrapped the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on the Shi’ite country in 2018.
Why is China in a hurry to buy Iranian oil?
China is ready to purchase oil from Iran, despite American sanctions on the Shi’ite nation. But why is China so desperate? Why can’t it wait for some more time?
Well, this is where Russia comes into the picture. Till now, China got its energy supplies from Russia and Central Asia. China didn’t have an energy crisis of sorts.
But Chinese President Xi Jinping tried to play smart.
Presently, Russia supplies 200,000 barrels of oil per day to China in accordance with a 10-year supply deal that is due to expire in 2024. China, however, wants to cut crude oil imports from Russia starting 2024.
Beijing argues that Russian crude oil coming to Western China via Kazakhstan is no longer needed. Actually, most of China’s ethnic minorities and undeveloped regions are located in its Western territory. On the other hand, the Han Chinese majority is predominantly located in prosperous Eastern China.
This is why Eastern China occupies 94 percent of the Chinese population in 43 percent of its territory. So, most of the fuel is consumed in Eastern China and this is why it is saying that it doesn’t want too much of Russian crude oil.
China was trying to pull a fast one here. On one hand, it was avoiding Russian crude oil coming via Kazakhstan. And on the other hand, it kept expanding its footprint in the Kazakh oil and gas industry in a bid to source its energy supplies from the oil-rich Central Asian country and dump Russian supplies.
But suddenly Kazakhstan found itself in the middle of unrest over escalating fuel prices. And the next thing you know, Russia-led CSTO troops landed in the country to help Kazakhstan.
Also read: 2022 will be Iran’s year