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Why Chinese public diplomacy is failing in Iran

While political and economic engagement between Iran and China continues to increase, China’s image remains poor as it is hostage to factional disputes within Iran.
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, China May 13, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter - RC1EE6C163D0

Increasing reports of academic and cultural exchanges between China and Iran indicate that China is pursuing an active public diplomacy in Iran.

On Sept. 29, Wang Jisi, the president of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies, Peking University, visited Iran’s Islamic Azad University and met with its chairman, Ali Akbar Velayati. Both sides reiterated the significance of Iran-China academic exchanges and agreed to establish a joint research institute. On Oct. 5, the head of China’s state broadcaster met with his Iranian counterpart, Abdulali Ali-Asgari, and called for expanding bilateral relations.

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