TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani started his official visit to China to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit due to open on Saturday.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, President Rouhani left Tehran for Qingdao in China’s eastern province of Shandong on Friday at the official invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

During his trip to the East Asian country, Rouhani is accompanied by a number of senior officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif, Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Massoud Karbasian, Vice-President for Economic Affairs Mohammad Nahavandian, and the president's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi.

On the sidelines of the SCO summit slated for June 9-10, Rouhani plans to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about various issues, including the latest regional developments and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Meetings between the Iranian president and his Uzbek, Pakistani, and Tajik counterparts, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Mamnoon Hussain, and Emomali Rahmon, have also been arranged in advance, according to media reports.

The SCO was established in Shanghai in 2001, with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as founding members.