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Bandar Abbas, home of Iran’s navy and the main port in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, was hosting two Chinese naval vessels this week on a five-day goodwill visit, underlining the increasingly warm relationship between the two countries.

It is the first such port call to Iran by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and highlights the efforts both China and Iran are making to counterbalance the power of the United States in the Middle East and along the sea lanes connecting the oil fields of the Persian Gulf with major energy-consuming centers in Asia.

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