Escobar on Iran, China and the Silk Road

Pepe Escobar on Iran-Chinese relations and the New Silk Road.

this is part 3 of a series at The Real News Network

Note also that Iran and China just signed a $3 bn. deal for China to help develop Iran’s refinery capacity in Abadan and the Gulf.

China now imports 3.8 million barrels a day of petroleum, second only to the United States, which imports about 13 million barrels a day of all petroleum products. In the 1980s China was a net exporter, and much of the increase in petroleum prices in recent years has been driven by new Chinese, India and other Asian demand.

Iran exports about 450,000 barrels a day to China, nearly one-fourth of Iran’s petroleum exports. (Iran produces about 4 million barrels a day, uses 2 million itself, and exports 2 million).

Although Chinese companies sometimes do not follow through on these understandings for fear of sanctions or because of lack of expertise, Chinese engineers could certainly help expand refinery capacity and they have a strong motivation to do so. In theory, I think this agreement would violate Congress’s sanctions on Iran, but whether the US would dare retaliate against China, its chief banker, is not clear.

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