China to cut Iran oil imports?

The world press reports that China has allegedly cut Iran oil imports due to US pressure. "But the Chinese are not the nation that says one thing today and does another thing tomorrow. It is unlikely that Beijing will stop trade relations with Tehran," RISS expert Vyacheslav Kholodkov considers.

The starting point for these fabrications was the publication in The Wall Street Journal, which claimed that in the Gulf of Oman was allegedly found a Chinese tanker with Iranian oil during Beijing's negotiations on a trade agreement with Washington. The article explained this by the fact that the Chinese leadership was afraid of US sanctions, and now this tanker is used as a floating oil storage. "Western media recalled that 8 months ago, Italy and Greece have stopped Iran oil imports and now there remain only the main importers – India and China. Mass media reported that at first China allegedly sharply increased Iranian oil purchases, but then suddenly stopped them," the analyst explained.

RISS expert noted that he had some doubts about the truth of the statements of the Western media. Recently, Foreign Ministers of China and Iran held talks in Beijing. This is a very significant event. At the same time, V.Kholodkov recalled that the US-Chinese negotiations on trade and economic issues were interrupted in May, and all the meetings between the parties ended in deadlock.

The Americans tried to put on a lot of pressure on China. They demanded that US and China representatives had to meet once a month to control the implementation of the agreement. At the same time, they reserve the right to introduce new trade duties against China. "After US and China stopped trade negotiations, there was an explosion of patriotism in China. So, there is no reason to conclude that Beijing was allegedly afraid of Washington's pressure," the analyst said.

RISS expert drew attention to the fact that China is the largest oil importer in the world. "If China cuts Iran oil imports, it will have to increase oil purchases from other suppliers, for example, Saudi Arabia. As a result, the oil price will grow, and it may be a serious blow for the Chinese economy," he said. According to the expert, it is obvious that China was preparing for the American embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil in advance. Beijing began to publish incomplete information on the oil export-import, and a large oil exchange started operating in Shanghai, where oil-for-yuan futures contracts were introduced. "It is very difficult to track transactions in yuan. China is preparing the ground for the countries under US sanctions to trade oil on the Shanghai stock exchange," he pointed out.

Iran China