China plays discreet, but critical role in Iran nuclear negotiations
China is trying to position itself as a key player in the region, and for good cause: It is in Beijing’s interest to push for the lifting of US sanctions on Iran, with which it has signed a historic bilateral partnership.
Wang Qun, the bespectacled, bow-tied top Chinese envoy at the talks. More discreet than his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Ulyanov, who is fond of tweets and press statements, Wang has nevertheless been playing a key role in the negotiations.
In the Chinese media, Wang has repeatedly emphasised China’s “unique and constructive” role in the talks and its work with all parties to encourage the resumption of the negotiation process between the Americans and the Iranians — as soon as possible.
The Middle East was not a major element of Chinese diplomacy. But this has changed in the last five years with Iraq as a turning point.