Beijing: China has invited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to take part in the forthcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), in an apparent rebuff to US President Donald Trump's move to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal with threats to impose sanctions against Tehran.
Rouhani will pay a working visit to China during which he is also expected to attend the SCO summit being held in the Chinese city of Qingdao, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told media here.
The SCO summit is due to be held on June 9-10 in which Prime Minster Narendra Modi is due to take part.
Leaders of SCO member states and observer states, as well as chiefs of various international organizations will attend the summit, Wang said.
Rouhani's presence at the summit as well as his bilateral visit coincides with Trump withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal and issuing threats of unilateral US sanctions.
China, a large importer of the Iranian oil, has made it clear that it will not implement any unilateral sanctions other than UN sanctions.
Elaborating on China's stand, Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said that the Iranian nuclear deal would continue to be implemented.
China was in touch with European Union as well as with Russia.
"We hope China and Iran avoid major disruption to the cooperation projects between the two sides," Zhang said.
On the sidelines of the SCO summit, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a state visit to China at the invitation of Xi, he said.
The SCO in which China plays an influential role is comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
India and Pakistan were admitted to the organisation last year.
Iran along with Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia is an observer in the SCO.