China, Iran defense officials meet
China’s defense minister has met with Iran’s navy commander in the latest sign of warming ties between their two militaries.
Thursday’s meeting in Beijing follows the first joint drills between their two navies in the Persian Gulf last month.
China’s Defense Ministry says Minister Chang Wanquan told Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari that China hoped for further pragmatic cooperation and the uninterrupted development of ties between the two militaries.
It quoted Sayyari as saying that Iran attached great importance to its relations with China and likewise hoped for stronger military-to-military ties.
Closer relations fit a pattern of China building ties with the militaries of U.S. rivals such as a Russia, although Beijing has joined in international efforts to prod Iran into cooperating with the international community over its nuclear programs.