China, Iran Sign 17 Agreements To Broaden Bilateral Cooperation

 

China and Iran on January 23, 2016 signed 17 documents and letters of intent to broaden bilateral cooperation. The agreements were signed in Tehran during the Chinese President, Mr. Xi Jinping’s visit to Iran. The agreements cover various fields such as energy, industrial capacity, finance, investment, communications, culture, judiciary, science and technology, news media, customs, climate change and human resources. During the visit, Mr. Xi Jinping and Iranian President Mr. Hassan Rouhani agreed to elevate their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership to boost cooperation on all fronts and carry forward their old friendship. Mr. Xi Jinping’s visit assumed significance as it was his first trip since the lifting of sanctions on Iran. The USA, European nations and Japan lifted oil and financial sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna Agreement. Moreover, it was also the first trip by a Chinese head of state in 14 years. And, for Mr. Xi Jinping, it was the first trip to the Middle East since he took office in March 2013.

Trade between the two countries stood at some $52 billion in 2014, but that figure dropped in 2015 due to plunging oil prices. China is Iran’s biggest trade partner, and continued purchasing oil from Iran after nuclear- related sanctions were tightened in 2012, despite the US pressure. Mr. Rouhani said that China has always stood by the side of the Iranian nation during hard days. Iran’s Supreme Leader Mr. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, told Mr. jinping that Iran would continue its policy of bolstering ties with the East. He praised China’s independent stance in global issues, saying it helped deepen strategic ties with Tehran. Mr. Khamenei said that Iran would not forget China’s support at the time of sanctions. Iran is also an important country for China for the successful implementation of its Belt and Road initiative in the Middle East and beyond the region up to the Europe. China is one of the six world powers— along with the US, Germany, France, Britain and Russia—that reached a landmark agreement with Iran last summer to lift international sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme. The deal was implemented after the UN nuclear watchdog certified that Iran had fulfilled all its commitments.

IMF Implements 2010 Quota And Governance         Reforms

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on January 27, 2016 implemented the long-pending 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms. The reforms represent a major step towards the increasing role of dynamic emerging markets and developing countries. The entry into force of these reforms will reinforce the credibility, effectiveness, and legitimacy of the IMF. These proposed reforms are the biggest change in the governance of the IMF (lender of last resort) since it was established after World War II in 1945 after the Bretton Woods Conference. IMF Managing Director Ms. Christine Lagarde said that a more representative, modern IMF would ensure that the institution was able to better meet the needs of its members in a rapidly