Source: Fars News Agency
TEHRAN (FNA)- A Chinese naval flotilla will berth in Southern Iran as Tehran and Beijing maintain their determination to enhance naval cooperation, the Iranian Navy announced. "The Chinese Navy flotilla will comprise two battle cruisers, a support vessel, and a helicopter," the Iranian Navy’s Public Relations Department said.
It said the Chinese flotilla, which had docked at Pakistan's Karachi port for training purposes, will dock at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas later in the day.
A high-ranking naval delegation from China visited Iran for talks in October 2015.
A Chinese Navy flotilla arrived in the Southern Iranian coast three years ago.
Subsequently, Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari visited China’s Eastern port city of Qingdao with a high-ranking team in attendance and held talks with Chinese military officials.
The Iranian Navy dispatched a naval group to China back in 2012, setting a new precedence in the countries’ bilateral naval cooperation.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Chinese Ambassador to Tehran Pang Sen underlined anti-terrorism cooperation with Iran, adding that the two countries have strengthened their military cooperation and exchanges.
"The military exchanges between China and Iran are increasing day by day," Pang told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.
Stressing that Tehran and Beijing permanently hold talks and consultations on the fight against terrorism, he said, "China opposes any type of terrorism and is willing to bolster its cooperation with Iran and other countries (in anti-terrorism campaign) to jointly maintain regional and global peace and stability."
Elsewhere, Pang described China as Iran's largest trade partner in the past 8 years, and said, "The trade ties between the two countries reached $31bln last year."
In relevant remarks in May, Tehran's Ambassador to Beijing Ali Asqar Khaji announced that Iran's exports to China increased considerably in the first four months of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
"The volume of Iran's exports to China has increased considerably in terms of weight in the first four months of 2017 and amounted to 21.12mln tons, setting a record 31 percent boost compared with the same period last year," Khaji said.
Noting that China is the largest importer of Iran's non-oil products, he said the volume of the country's non-oil exports to China has reached 11.59mln tons, showing a 66% increase compared to the previous year.
Iran exports around 40 percent of its petrochemical products and 60-70 percent of the country’s polymer materials to China.