China Global Podcast

The Past, Present, and Future of China-Iran Relations with Dr. William Figueroa

June 22, 2021
Bonnie S. Glaser
Dr. William Figueroa
1 min read

Episode Summary

Earlier this year, China and Iran signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement outlining plans for economic, political, and security cooperation. On paper, the agreement appears ambitious. Some experts warn that it signals closer ties between Beijing and Tehran at the expense of the United States and its partners. But others caution that this should not be read as a major shift in China’s overall approach to Iran or the Middle East--noting that obtaining technology from Israel and oil from Saudi Arabia is too important for Beijing.  
As the two countries mark fifty years of relations, Bonnie is joined by Dr. William Figueroa to dive deeper into the history of Sino-Iranian ties, what each side wants out of their bilateral relationship, and what this quarter-century agreement really means for the balance of power in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Dr. Figueroa is an expert on the China in the Middle East, and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania where he wrote his dissertation on the history of Sino-Iranian relations from the early 1900s to the foundation of the Islamic Republic.