But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attendance at a summit is a headache for China, says diplomat Iran's firebrand president will visit China for the first time next month to attend the annual summit meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation. Along with presidents Hu Jintao and Russia's Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to be one of up to eight heads of state at the meeting in Shanghai. The organisation has six full members - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - and Iran is one of four countries - together with India, Pakistan and Mongolia - with observer status. India and Kyrgyzstan are unlikely to send their leaders. One western diplomat suggested the Iranian president's trip was not without risks for China. 'His visit is a headache for China, which has no idea what he will say,' the source said. 'Will he use the meeting to say something unexpected, to dismiss the Holocaust and threaten to destroy Israel?' Founded in June 2001, the organisation has become an important forum for China to extend its economic and strategic influence across central Asia, to work with the other members against Islamic radicalism and provide a diplomatic platform in which the US is not represented. But the US and its nuclear standoff with Iran was on the minds of analysts attending a foreign policy seminar in Beijing yesterday. The analysts warned that China could only lose if the standoff developed into another US-led war against a Muslim state. 'It is impossible for China to gain anything ... what we would get is nothing but loss if it turned out to be another war in the region,' said Yin Gang, a researcher with the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Yin said a war in the oil-rich region could push global oil prices to between US$150 and US$250 per barrel, possibly costing China at least one percentage point of its gross domestic product per year. Gao Zugui, deputy director of the Centre for Strategic Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, also warned that any mishandling of the issue could hurt Sino-US relations. Other analysts said China valued regional stability and it would be against the country's interests to allow Iran to possess nuclear technology and arms or to support US-led sanctions or war against Iran. Pakistan and Iran want to become full members of the organisation, and Mr Ahmadinejad is likely to push the case during his visit. Their applications have received a polite but wary welcome, and it may take time before the six members are satisfied with their 'anti-terrorist' credentials. Iran was China's third-biggest supplier of foreign oil last year.