Michelle Obama has recently begun her week long ‘non-political’ trip to China that will stop off in Beijing and Chengdu. She has decided to focus her trip on “the power and importance of education” and will write a blog on this subject.
The reason as to why this visit is so interesting is because it comes as such a crucial time in regards to relations between the two countries with issues such as Crimea and China’s relationship with North Korea being at the top of the agenda. Although it has been claimed by The White House that this trip is not political, it is believed that the purpose is to prove that relations between the two countries are not just through leaders and are through the people also, as supported by a statement put out by the deputy national security advise for security communications, Ben Rhodes. This trip will hopefully improve relations between the two countries so that disputes over major and minor issues can end
By Joss Woodhead
China has outlined its desire to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue ahead of talks in Kazakhstan this week, amid reports of the country using Chinese suppliers to procure nuclear equipment.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, USA, UK, France, and Russia – along with Germany (the P5+1) are set to discuss nuclear activity with Iran during the talks in a bid to ease the increasing fissure between Iran and the world’s major powers. The discussions are the first since talks broke down in June 2012. Whilst Iran believes the council should recognize its right to refine uranium for peaceful purposes, the country is being urged to halt 20 percent uranium enrichment and close the Fordo plant where the process takes place.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, told a press conference in Beijing, “The Iranian nuclear issue is complicated and sensitive. We should not only boost our confidence of solving the issue through talks, but also take an objective and practical attitude.” The Chinese official emphasized the need for China to continue its “huge efforts” and continue to play a positive role in the negotiations in order to safeguard regional peace and stability.
The statement was made in a week when an Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) report was published asserting that Iran tried to bypass international sanctions and smuggle thousands of specialized magnets through China for its nuclear centrifuges. The ISIS report said it could not establish whether a Chinese supplier was found.
China’s position in the debates surrounding Iran’s nuclear capabilities is sure to be discussed as the latest rounds of talks begin.