For thousands of years, China and Iran as ancient cultures, have been governed by imperial central governments. The populations of both nations have never experienced democracy. The Chinese and Iranians hardly ever have had friends or allies. This is true even within the context of the Islamic Republic today. The Iranian regime hardly has allies but rather paid militant proxies.
Both the Chinese and Iranian cultures, even the contemporary Columnist dynasty of People’s Republic of China and the Iranian dynasty of Mullahs and Ayatollahs, are governed based on the relationships and loyalty between small closed groups of ruling families. These families are mostly related to each other through spiderwebs of marriages and bloodlines.