China will stop buying shrimp from Saudi Arabia, which they say is diseased. China will instead buy from Iran, in defiance of U.S. sanctions meant to isolate the Middle Eastern country. The news follows reports that China is increasing its purchase of Iranian oil, also in violation of U.S. sanctions.
China has formally banned shrimp imports from Saudi Arabia after a batch was found with white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). China quickly moved to stop the virus spreading into their country.
Shortly after the ban, China confirmed that they had granted market access to 40 Iranian companies to begin exporting shrimp.
The move comes despite efforts by the U.S. to stop Iran from trading with the outside world, so as to strangle the country economically as punishment for their nuclear programme, and their opposition to U.S. and Saudi foreign policy in the region.
Iran is hoping that seafood exports can be a growth industry, and help the country overcome U.S. economic attacks. The country already exports 22,000 tonnes of shrimp worth around $150 million. They are planning to boost that to 60,000 tonnes.
This is the second recent instance of China defying U.S. sanctions. On Tuesday China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) said that Chinese imports of Iranian oil increased by 8% between the months of June and July. This despite the fact that in May there was a tightening of U.S. sanctions on Iran.
U.S. sanctions have had a devastating economic effect on those targetted, usually for opposing U.S. interests in their given region. It makes trading and accessing financial markets difficult or even impossible.
Therefore, those that are sanctioned, such as Venezuela, have been welcoming of countries such as China and Russia who are willing to, and strong enough, to defy aggressive unilateral measures by the Trump administration.