US officials' recent remarks seem to suggest that "China could be poised to lend crucial support to White House efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions", said a commentary on CNN. However, the commentary quoted two analysts' opinions to indicate that China may not easily agree to sanctions on Iran anytime soon.
Linda Jakobson, global security analyst at the think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) China, pointed out in the article that imposing sanctions "goes against the grain of China's foreign policy", and China's position has always been to use diplomacy and dialogue to resolve the standoff.
Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, China adviser at the International Crisis Group, presented more reasons. She believes that China's reluctance to support the sanctions on Iran isn't only because Iran is "China's third-largest oil supplier, home to expanding energy and commercial enterprises", but also because the two "share strong resentment of perceived Western imperialistic behavior".
Nevertheless, Beijing's reluctance doesn't mean that it supports Tehran in developing nuclear programs, said the analysts.
SIPRI's Jakobson believes China is very serious about non-proliferation and "does not want to see Iran become a nuclear weapon state."
On the other hand, "China does recognize the importance of the United States to its own well-being, the interdependence between the U.S. and China. China wants to be seen as responsible and cooperative in the international arena", said Jakobson.