US pressing allies to end Iran oil imports by November deadline, official says
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Tuesday that Beijing was opposed to unilateral sanctions when asked if China would buy less Iranian oil.China is Iran’s top trading partner and No 1 oil and non-oil buyer, as well as major investor. Last year, their two-way trade jumped 21 per cent from a year earlier to reach US$37.3 billion, while more than 200,000 trips were made between the two countries. Iranian officials said earlier that Tehran would not rule out the possibility of renegotiation with the US, or even a new deal, but also that China had a positive role to play in upholding the deal, and should boost economic cooperation with Tehran. But Hanegbi said Iran could not rely on China to offset the impact of US sanctions. “Iran will be down to its knees without anything to do with China. Companies will stop working with Iran because they understand they will lose American market,” he said. “China can be a replacement, but very limited.” China in recent years has boosted its presence in the Middle East through investment and infrastructure projects. China’s total investment in Israel in 2016 reached US$16 billion, almost triple that of the previous year. China National Technical Import and Export Corp is one of five shortlisted global consortiums vying for the first phase of an Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian joint water project which includes a planned pipeline running from the coastal city of Aqaba by the Red Sea to the Lisan area in the Dead Sea in Jordan.