On September 21 two Chinese destroyers arrived at Iran’s Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas.
The puts the destroyers on the east side of the Gulf while the U.S. Fifth Fleet is currently located on the west, at Bahrain.
AFP reports that the destroyers are part of a four-day visit in which China and Iran will jointly conduct “search and rescue exercises and training for maritime accidents.”
The exercises come as China and Iran are strengthening ties economically. China is now “Iran’s largest trading partner,” with trade between the two nations is expected to surpass $45 billion in 2014 alone.
China took part in the P5+1 talks which ended on July 20 with only temporary reductions on Iran’s nuclear program. Those talks will resume in November.
Breitbart News has previously reported that China is also strengthening economic ties with Africa at this time. They launched a $2 billion multi-lateral African development fund earlier this year. It, along with other Chinese investments, marks a 3,000 percent increase in Chines investment in Africa over the last decade.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) reports that China is maintaining strong economic relations with North Korea at this time as well. CFR indicates it was China that helped sustain the North Koreans during the transitional period between the death of Kim Jong-Il and the ascension of his son Kim Jong-Un to power.
On July 2 Breitbart News reported that China was spending $6.3 billion on a high-speed rail project linking China with North Korea.
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