China’s former ambassador to Iran takes on same role in Saudi Arabia

China’s former ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, has been transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of a regular diplomatic reshuffle.

The move follows last year’s Chinese-brokered deal between the states to restore diplomatic relations.

The embassy in Riyadh announced the appointment and Chang’s arrival on Friday. In his inaugural address he said the embassy is “committed to promoting exchanges and cooperation between [China and Saudi Arabia] actively practising ‘diplomacy for the people’, and providing dedicated services to Chinese citizens” in Saudi Arabia.

Chang had been in Tehran since 2019 and left that post in April. He was previously ambassador to Yemen and the United Arab Emirates and used to be a senior official in the Communist Party’s diplomatic branch.

His predecessor as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chen Weiqing, also left the post last month and has since been made director of the foreign ministry’s Department of West Asian and North African Affairs.

Chen succeeded Wang Di, who had recently been involved in talks with diplomats from Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Oman about the Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping.

However, Beijing has not yet appointed a new ambassador to Iran despite the recent tit-for-tat air strikes between Israel and the Islamic Republic, which Beijing sees as spilling over from the war in Gaza.

Last month, Beijing was in contact with both Iran and Saudi Arabia about those air strikes that followed an attack on Iran’s embassy in Syria, which the Islamic Republic blamed on Israel.



World leaders call for de-escalation after Iran launches air attack on Israel

World leaders call for de-escalation after Iran launches air attack on Israel

Previously only the late Sun Bigan had served as China’s ambassador to both Saudi Arabia and Iran. He was appointed as ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1990 and then became ambassador to Iraq in 1994 before being posted to Tehran five years later.

China has been the biggest trading partner for both Saudi Arabia and Iran for a decade. Its role in brokering the deal to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries drew international attention to Beijing’s growing influence in the region.

The United States has repeatedly asked China to use its influence to rein in Iran and groups it supports, including the Houthis, but there has been little direct response from Beijing.



Read More

Leave a Reply