China will continue using diplomatic means, instead of sanctions, to deal with the Iran nuclear standoff, analysts said, refuting foreign media reports that Beijing might adopt a tough posture toward Teheran.
A report by news agency Reuters on Tuesday indicated that China and Russia were pressing Iran to change its stance on the nuclear question.
The report quoted several unnamed UN Security Council diplomats of Western nations as saying that the envoys of the two countries had, earlier this month, urged Teheran to accept a fresh UN offer on atomic fuel. In the report, Western diplomats said they viewed the move as signifying the two powers were now getting tougher (on Iran).
China and Russia had indicated that their position on fresh sanctions would depend on Iran's response to their formal diplomatic approach, the report quoted an unidentified diplomat as saying.
This was a strategy described to be "anything from a gentle expression of displeasure to an angry protest," Reuters reported.
However, China or Russia were not signaling any actual change of attitude on this issue, Chinese experts said.
"We have to make sure our interests are protected; we won't make any major shift in our stance. These are China's two principles," said Hua Liming, a former Chinese ambassador to Iran.
Hua said it would take months before talks converge on the implementation of fresh sanctions and that there was still room for compromise.
Zan Tao, an expert on Middle East studies at the Peking University, said Iran was strategically significant in China's foreign policy. "Iran has good relations with Beijing," he said, citing stable oil trade as one example of cordial relations between the two countries.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.