Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.
Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Beijing, where he met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. The visit, part of an Asian tour to promote Iran’s economic engagement with the region amid intense sanctions pressure from the United States, led some to wonder whether China and Iran’s tensions with Washington are pushing them to increase their cooperation.
At the beginning of the month, the U.S. ended sanctions waivers for eight countries that import Iranian oil, threatening to impose penalties if they did not comply. China, a signatory of the 2015 agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, is the top buyer of Iranian oil. Wang told Zarif during his visit that China firmly opposed “unilateral sanctions and the so-called ‘long arm’ jurisdiction imposed by the United States on Iran,” adding that Beijing hoped the nuclear deal could be “fully implemented.”