Author: David Batashvili, Researcher at Rondeli Foundation


China Radar: South Caucasus is a monthly publication by Rondeli Foundation (GFSIS) dedicated to China’s activities and influence in the three nations of South Caucasus.

With the global rise of great power tensions and competition related to China’s role in the world, Rondeli Foundation began to take a closer look at China’s role in our own region. Since July 2020, we have been publishing China’s Activities in the South Caucasus digest that exhaustively covers events and developments in this regard. China Radar builds on China’s Activities digest to provide experts, researchers, civil servants and other observers of China’s foreign strategy with a comprehensive summary of China’s political, diplomatic, economic, informational, soft power and other activities towards Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as these nations’ stances and actions concerning China.

Sources of information provided in China Radar can be found in the issues of China’s Activities digest covering the relevant months unless indicated otherwise. All issues of both China Radar and China’s Activities digest can be found on Rondeli Foundation’s China Watch page.


China-Georgia Strategic Partnership

A large delegation from Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party, led by the party’s chair Irakli Kobakhidze, visited China on 14-20 January 2024.


On 16 January, the chair of the Georgian parliament’s foreign relations committee Nikoloz Samkharadze called internal Georgian criticism of the country’s strategic partnership with China “stupid statements” and “miserable attempt by the opposition to cast a shadow on the foreign policy of the Georgian Dream.”


On 20 January, Georgian parliamentary speaker Shalva Papuashvili said that “everyone who stirs up anti-Chinese sentiments in Georgia is directed to disrupt the projects of the strategic importance of Georgia, to turn Georgia into a dead end and not a corridor.”


China’s Presence, Activities and Influence in the South Caucasus

Economic Involvement and Connections

A new international freight train route opened in January 2024 connecting Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, China with the port city of Poti in Georgia.


South Caucasus Actors Expressing Support for China

On 2 January 2024 Chinese media published comments by a member of Armenia’s parliament, Hayk Mamijanyan, according to whom China’s main pursuit is “peace and development.”


On 15 January the European Socialists party in Georgia issued a statement condemning Taiwan’s democratic elections, calling “on external forces to refrain from gross interference in the internal state affairs of the People’s Republic of China,” and calling China “one of the most important strategic partners of Georgia.”


On 17 and 19 January 2024, members of a political group close to Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party called “People’s Power,” Guram Macharashvili and Sozar Subari, attacked the Georgians speaking against their country’s policy regarding China, with Subari saying: “the hysteria that is going on against China is absolutely anti-national, against the state and hostile to our country and population.”


On 15 January the Georgian Times media outlet announced the Chinese ambassador Zhou Qian “the diplomat of the year” of 2023. It also announced the signing of the China-Georgia strategic partnership agreement “the event of the year” in Georgia.


Stances and Activities by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia Benefiting China’s Foreign Policy

Support for China and its Policies

On January 13 the foreign ministry of Azerbaijan issued a condemnation of the democratic elections in Taiwan and called “against interference in China’s internal affairs.”