China is sending an envoy to Iran for three days of talks on resolving the impasse over Tehran's nuclear programs.
China's announcement that it is sending Vice Foreign Minister Li Guozheng to Tehran came Thursday after Beijing said there is still time to resolve the standoff between Iran and other nations.
Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the visit's aim is to find a peaceful solution. He says Chinese and Iranian officials will exchange views on the nuclear issue, and they will discuss how to resolve the matter through dialogue and consultation.
Beijing has urged Tehran to suspend all uranium enrichment, but has opposed any strong action against Iran - one of China's main oil suppliers.
The Chinese official's visit to Tehran, which begins Friday, comes ahead of a March 6 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency to discuss Iran's nuclear activities - a step that may lead to U.N. sanctions.
The United States and some European governments accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons - a charge Tehran denies.