This is an article from last week, but it gives an interesting glimpse of current political developments between China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United States:
- Prime minister Wen Jiabao has returned from a Middle East trip with a business deal to build a $10 billion, 400,000-barrel-a-day refinery on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. Also, the Chinese oil company CCPC will join hands with Qatar Petroleum International and Royal Dutch Shell to build a refinery at Taizhou on China’s Pacific coast.
- While China generally stays mild in its opinions concerning diplomatic issues, Wen strongly disapproves of Iran's nuclear program, saying that China “adamantly opposes Iran developing and possessing nuclear weapons.”
- However, China will keep buying Iranian oil, despite of the Unites States' pressure to phase out Iranian oil imports. Iran is China's third largest supplier of oil.
- China openly disapproves of Iran's threat to shut down its Strait of Hormuz (the Persian Gulf bottleneck through which roughly a fifth of the crude oil traded worldwide passes) should the US-led boycott of Iran's economy sthrengthen, saying that such action would be regarded as aggression against most of the world’s nations.
The article is on http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/world/asia/chinese-leader-wen-criticizes-iran-on-nuclear-program.html