Enduring silk ties

  • Mandira Bagwandeen Salamanca Group Cape Town, South Africa


Due to China’s growing energy needs that stem from its unrelenting drive for economic development, Beijing stresses the importance of maintaining a continuous supply of energy, particularly oil, to maintain its impressive economic growth. However, seeing as China’s domestic resources are unable to satisfy its projected future oil demands, the Chinese government realise that, barring significant domestic oil discoveries, their dependency on oil imports, particularly from the Middle East, will continue to increase. As such, Chinese efforts to enhance relations with Iran have mainly stemmed from China’s search for energy resources, an opportunity to create a diverse portfolio of overseas market shares, and the desire to exert political influence in the Middle East. Yet, not all credit can be given to Beijing for establishing links with Tehran as Iranian officials have, by advertising the country as a reliable energy source and key strategic partner in the Middle East, managed to gain China’s attention and advance Sino-Iranian relations.