At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of the Islamic Republic of Iran will pay an official visit to China from August 25 to 27.
Q: The US government released its annual report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments on August 21. It accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention, Iran and the DPRK of developing nuclear and missile programs, and China of violating commitments to a nuclear weapons testing moratorium. What's your comment?
A: I have noted the report. Treaties and regimes of arms control and non-proliferation are important pillars for upholding world peace, security and stability. As such, they should certainly be strictly complied with and implemented. China has all along been responsibly and earnestly fulfilling its commitments and international obligations. The international community bears witness to that.
The US loves being in the spotlight. It would set up a stage and put on a show whenever it feels like it. Unfortunately, instead of a standing ovation, it gets booed more often than not. Why is that? The audience is sharp-eyed. Just like I said the other day, as a country that is so good at flip-flops and withdrawals, that is always ready to knock over the table and walk away, the US is in no place to talk about honoring commitments.
When it comes to arms control and non-proliferation, the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the INF Treaty has met with universal opposition and unanimous criticism from the international community. What the US should do first is to reflect upon its own record in fulfilling obligations and honoring commitments rather than acting as the referee on others.
Q: You just announced the upcoming visit to China by Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif. With the current tensions in the Middle East, what will be discussed during the visit? What's your expectations out of the discussions?
A: The Middle East will certainly be on the agenda.
China and Iran enjoy traditional friendship. The 38 years since diplomatic relations were established witnessed the sound and steady development of our relationship. During Foreign Minister Zarif's visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him and exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest, including the Middle East situation that you mentioned. China stands ready to work with Iran for greater progress in our comprehensive strategic partnership and for peace and stability in the Gulf region.