Author: Medea Ivaniadze, Junior Researcher at Rondeli Foundation


The digest covers China’s political, diplomatic, economic, and other activities in the South Caucasus region and relations between China and the South Caucasus countries. It relies on a wide variety of sources, including the Chinese media. It is worth noting that the Chinese media is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (according to the World Press Freedom Index China is nearly at the bottom of the list and ranks 179th out of 180 countries).



Crossroads of Peace project and BRI

At the invitation of Armenia’s ruling Civil Contract Party, a delegation of the CCP visited Armenia on April 17-19. During the visit, the Chinese delegation, led by the Deputy head of the International Department of the CCP Central Committee Chen Zhou held meetings with Armenian officials including Vice President of the Armenian National Assembly Hakob Arshakyan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Civil Contract Party and Minister of Economy Gevorg Papoyan, Head of the National Assembly Civil Contract Faction Hayk Konjoryan, and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Narek Mkrtchyan.

According to the report, the Armenian side said it was willing to strengthen exchanges between the two parties. During the meetings, the two sides had also exchanged views on party-to-party exchanges and cooperation in various fields, Xinhua reported.

At a meeting with the Armenian Parliament Deputy Chair Hakob Arshakyan, he presented the Crossroads of Peace project initiated by the Armenian Government. According to the First Channel News report, touching upon the Crossroads of Peace project Chen Zhou said that China supported the implementation of the project and saw an opportunity for cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.


BRI and Eurasian Economic Union

On April 10, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong met with the Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee on Regional and Eurasian Integration of the National Assembly of Armenia Vagharshak Hakobyan.

According to the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong, they exchanged views on developing cooperation between China and Armenia in various fields within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union.


Armenia and the “modernization with Chinese characteristics”

The conference “China and Armenia: Common Development and Modernization” was organized by the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Yerevan State University, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong said on March 28. According to him, he exchanged views with specialists and scientists from China and Armenia on modernization with Chinese characteristics and bilateral relations.



The Azerbaijani side wishes to raise Azerbaijan-China cooperation to a strategic partnership

  • On March 25, the Chinese state-run Global Times published an interview with the Assistant of the President of Azerbaijan for Foreign Policy Affairs Hikmat Hajiyev where he said that it was the Azerbaijani president’s vision to raise Azerbaijan’s level of cooperation with China to that of a strategic partnership, taking the relationship to a new level.


  • “The relations between Azerbaijan and China are those of strategic partnership. Our countries cooperate successfully in many areas,” the Speaker of Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova said to the Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min during their April 1 meeting.

The parties also discussed the inter-parliamentary cooperation between Azerbaijan and China and the Chinese Ambassador also expressed her gratitude to the Azerbaijani Parliament for the support to China on key matters.


The Azerbaijani side meets with Huawei and Alibaba representatives

  • On April 2, a delegation led by the Head of Azerbaijan’s State Service of Special Communication and Information Security Ilgar Musayev visited the headquarters of Alibaba Cloud in Hangzhou, China.

During the meeting with the President of Alibaba Cloud International Selina Yuan and the company’s employees, the Alibaba Cloud specialists provided detailed information about the various application areas of the company’s cloud solutions, including information security, data storage, database management, and artificial intelligence solutions.

  • On March 31, Azernews reported that the meeting was held between the head of the State Service of Special Communication and Information Security of Azerbaijan Ilgar Musayev and the Deputy President of Huawei’s ICT Marketing & Solution Sale David Shi.

The company’s representatives provided information on issues such as information security, network technologies, artificial intelligence, cloud solutions, and smart city management systems, and at the same time, opinions were exchanged on other issues of mutual interest.

The Azerbaijani side emphasized that there was great potential for expanding cooperation between the two institutions.


Azerbaijani official praises China

On March 25, the Chinese state-run Global Times published an interview with the Assistant of the President of Azerbaijan for Foreign Policy Affairs Hikmat Hajiyev.

In the interview, he praised the Chinese Huawei and criticized the critics: “Chinese technologies, such as Huawei, are some of the best in the world. For many years, I have been using Huawei products and their technology is also helping a digital transformation in my country. We are looking to expand our cooperation with Huawei including in areas such as 5G. Some other countries engage in unnecessary propaganda, particularly in relation to security and other issues, which hinders genuine competition and economic development”. Among other things, he also praised “China’s successful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic” as a model for other nations.

He also said that based on China’s concept of the Global Development Initiative and “sharing technologies and achievements with developing countries”, the Azerbaijani side was looking forward to working together with China “to ensure the voice of the Global South was heard and understood within the core process”.


Educational cooperation

On March 28, an artificial intelligence research laboratory created by SOCAR started operating at the Baku Higher Oil School for the first time among higher education institutions in Azerbaijan.



The Chinese and Georgian sides discuss the political situation in Georgia

  • On April 15, the Chairman of the Georgia Dream Party Irakli Garibashvili met with the delegation led by Chen Zhou, the Deputy head of the International Department of the CCP Central Committee. The Georgian Dream report said that the conversation touched on the ongoing processes in the region and the world, as well as the political situation in Georgia”.


  • On March 29, Garibashvili met with the Ambassador of China to Georgia Zhou Qian. According to the Georgian side, among other things, the conversation touched upon the ongoing processes in the region and the world, as well as the political situation in Georgia.


  • On March 28, the Chairman of the parliamentary political group People’s Power Sozar Subari met with the political adviser of the Embassy of China Haizheng Xue.

According to the Interpressnews report, the guests were interested in the current political situation in Georgia and, among other things, the plans of the People’s Power party.

Subari said it was important that China’s role as “a provider of stability in politics” was increasing, including “in our region, which has endured many conflicts”.


Context: It is noteworthy that since April 9 Georgian citizens have been protesting against the Russia-inspired foreign influence draft law. Since April 15, the protest has been held almost every day.


Chinese Ambassador praises Georgian Government

In a March 30 interview with the pro-government channel Imedi, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia, Zhou Qiang, praised the Georgian government.

“…Against the background of today’s complex geopolitical situation and regional hotspots, the Georgian government pursues a policy of peace, stability and development and maintains a double-digit economic growth rate from year to year…I personally think that the current policy of Georgia is independent, balanced, rational and pragmatic,” the Ambassador noted.


At the invitation of the Georgian Dream party, the CCP delegation visited Georgia, held high-level meetings

The Chinese state-controlled reported that a delegation led by Chen Zhou, Deputy Head of the International Department of the CCP Central Committee, visited Georgia from April 14 to 17, at the invitation of Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party. reported that ​the Chinese delegation promoted Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era ideology to Georgian Dream officials.

The Chinese report said that the Georgian side was willing to deepen exchanges with the CCP.


  • In the Chinese delegation’s meeting the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze, the two sides emphasized “the productive political and economic relations between Georgia and the People’s Republic of China”. Kobakhidze once again reaffirmed support for the One China principle.


  • At the Chinese delegation’s meeting with the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Shalva Papuashvili, he positively assessed the relations between the Parliament of Georgia and the National People’s Congress of China.


  • First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, the Head of the Friendship Group with the Parliament of China, Gia Volski also met the delegation. The two sides discussed Georgia-China relations, including cooperation at the parliamentary level.


The Chinese side once again targets the US and the Rose Revolution of 2003

On April 19, the Chinese MFA published a material entitled “The Hypocrisy and Facts of the United States Foreign Aid”. The same material was also published on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Georgia.

The Chinese side once again targeted the US and Georgia’s democratic Rose Revolution of 2003: “The United States has attempted to transform other countries and shape the world order in accordance with its values and political system, promoting the so-called “democracy” in many countries under the cover of human rights groups, professional associations, labour organisations and independent think tanks, fostering opposition politicians and pro-American forces, and subverting and infiltrating legitimate regimes. Behind the Arab Spring, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, the United States has financed, instigated and even directly intervened”.


Context: The targeting of non-government “human rights groups, professional associations, labour organisations and independent think tanks” by Beijing is noteworthy against the background of the Georgian Dream’s Russia-inspired foreign influence draft law.


Chinese Ambassador discusses China’s position on Georgia’s sovereignty

In a March 30 interview with Imedi, the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian tried to further comment about China’s position on Georgia’s sovereignty, while actually not saying anything new, but targeting the West:

“I also noticed that there has been an increase in talk that China’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia is not sufficiently clearly and convincingly expressed…”

He said that in the joint statement of strategic partnership, China reaffirmed its respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and reaffirmed that it will firmly uphold the goals and principles of the UN Charter.

“From China’s point of view, some countries say that they support the sovereignty of Georgia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia and recognise the independence of Kosovo. From the Chinese perspective, the issues of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Kosovo are similar. Recognition of Kosovo’s independence violates the principles of the UN Charter. China has never recognised any of the above regimes. On the other hand, what guarantee do the countries that recognised Kosovo give that they will not violate the UN Charter in the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia? A country that does not actually protect the international order and principles defined by the UN Charter and arbitrarily follows double standards for its own interests does not respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any country,” the Ambassador claimed.


Disinformation & propaganda in Chinese media

On April 8, the Chinese state-run Global Times published content entitled “US-led NATO brings disastrous ‘wars of choice’”.

The article targeted NATO enlargement with Russia’s disinformation: “NATO enlargement up to Ukraine and Georgia aimed to surround Russia’s naval fleet in the Black Sea, weakening Russia’s military power and geopolitical role”.


Georgia and China sign an agreement on mutual relaxation of visa norms

On April 10, the Governments of Georgia and China signed an agreement for the mutual exemption of ordinary passport holders from visa requirements.

  • Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili said that China, the new economic power of the world, was also a symbol of the multipolar world, Georgia Online reported.


Flights between Georgia and China

  • On April 6, the Director of the United Airports of Georgia, and the representatives of China Southern Airlines discussed the strategy of cooperation to contribute to the growth of the passenger flow between Georgia and China.

The parties reviewed plans to seasonally increase flights from Urumqi (Xinjiang), China to Tbilisi, Georgia.


  • On April 13, Georgian Airways and Sichuan’s International Tourism Department signed a memorandum for launching scheduled passenger flights connecting Georgia and China.

Georgian Airways plans to commence regular passenger flights on the Chengdu-Tbilisi-Chengdu route starting in June, “utilizing the airline’s European destinations operated from Tbilisi”.


  • On April 1, the Ambassador of Georgia to China Paata Kalandadze, held a meeting with the Deputy Director General of the International Relations Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China Bai Wenli.

The need to schedule additional direct flights was noted, “especially in light of the increase in visa-free traffic and tourist flows between the countries”. They agreed to continue active work with representatives of both Civil Aviation of China and the Chinese private airlines to achieve “concrete tangible results”.


In January-March 2024, compared to the same period last year, Georgia’s exports to China decreased by 51.9%

On April 19, Geostat reported that in January-March 2024, China was the third-biggest trading partner of Georgia – the turnover between the two countries amounted to $330.6 million (7% of Georgia’s total trade).

China was Georgia’s seventh-biggest trading partner by exports ($64.1 million), which was 4.8% of total exports. Compared to January 2023, that was a 51.9% decrease.

China was Georgia’s fourth-biggest import partner with $266.4 million (7.9% of total imports). Compared to the same period last year, that was a 9.6% growth.


Georgia Development Foundation representative: Digital Silk Road brings enormous opportunities

On April 19, the Chinese Outlook New Era reported that the World Internet Conference Digital Silk Road Development Forum was held in Xi’an, China.

The CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Georgia Development Foundation Besik Bujanishvili said in his speech that the initiative of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative had become “a transformative force to promote international cooperation and connectivity in Eurasia, and Georgia is proud to be a part of this grand vision”. He expressed the belief that the Digital Silk Road “brings enormous opportunities for multilateral cooperation and prosperity sharing among countries, and opens up new paths for global social growth and prosperity”.


The Chinese side expresses interest in possible infrastructure investment

  • In a March 30 interview with Imedi, Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian said that China was ready to be actively involved in the construction, investment and operation of railway, port, energy and other projects that would be connected to the Middle Corridor.


  • On April 18, the Ambassador of Georgia to China Paata Kalandadze met with the Deputy Minister of Commerce of China Ling Ji. At the meeting, the further deepening of existing relations in various directions, such as transport, logistics, trade, and investments was emphasized.


  • On April 16, the Ambassador of Georgia to China Paata Kalandadze met with the Deputy President of the Guangdong Province Enterprise Investment Promotion Association Yu Jiansheng. The Ambassador informed Yu about the favourable investment environment in Georgia. The parties talked about cooperation in the field of high technologies and agreed to continue coordinated work in this regard.


Educational cooperation

On April 16, the Ambassador of Georgia to China Paata Kalandadze met the Professor of Capital Normal University in China Liu Guiying.

At the meeting, they talked about the development of cooperation between higher educational institutions, specifically in the fields of law, artificial intelligence, chemistry and tourism management.


Georgia’s partners note China’s influence efforts

Amid the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze’s visit to Berlin, on April 11, the Chairman of the German Bundestag’s EU Affairs Committee Anton Hofreiter said that Georgia was a European country where many powers wanted to increase their influence, “from Russia to China to Turkey”.