China revels in its role at negotiating table over Iran nuclear deal

"Historic day" on the world stage followed by better-than-predicted GDP figures, providing "positioning" boost for president Xi Jinping

China foreign minister Wang Yi
China foreign minister Wang Yi

China has been reveling in its role as a moderating force after helping secure the international nuclear deal with Iran in exchange for a partial lifting of sanctions.

Foreign minister Wang Yi said the talks proved the international community could find compromise through dialogue and negotiations.

Hailing China’s role in the process, he added: "This was a historic day. This is a comprehensive deal, which forcefully upholds the international non-proliferation system."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website today featured high praise for China from France, Russia and Iran, among others. 

According to one regional PR expert, the deal now allows China to position itself as a supporting player in Iran’s longer-term fortunes.

"It enables China to trade with Iran with less concern about sanctions or stigma and focus on economics," said Damien Ryan, managing director of Asia-based Ryan Communication and a former reporter who covered stories in both China and Iran.

"Similar to Myanmar, China can position their engagement with Iran as support, which is helping to rebuild the economy and contributing to development."

Trade between the two countries reached a record $51.8 billion last year, up 31.5 per cent from 2013.

Today China posted economic growth of seven per cent for the last quarter, higher than had been predicted by most analysts and, helpfully, bang in line with president Xi Jinping’s annual forecast.

Another senior PR exec, who asked not to be named, said these two events had enabled China to position itself strong internationally and resilient domestically.

"From a government perspective, this has been a great two days for China. Firstly it helps broker the nuclear deal and is making great play on how it held all the sides together as a moderating force, even though it has turned a blind eye to those in China who have facilitated Iran’s nuclear strategy for years. Secondly it has posted growth figures above expectations, even if one might have suspicions about their accuracy. The government will be delighted, even if appearance and reality seldom collide in China."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in