Author: Medea Ivaniadze


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).



Chinese soft power in Armenia keeps growing

  • On May 1, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong invited the Rector of Yerevan State University Hovhannes Hovhannisyan to the Chinese Embassy. Reportedly, they exchanged views on strengthening education cooperation between China and Armenia and developing friendship between the two countries.


  • On May 10, the Chinese Embassy hosted an event on friendship and cultural exchange between young people from Armenia and China.


  • On May 15, Fan Yong attended an event organized by Armenia’s No. 29 school in Yerevan on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Armenia.



China noted Azerbaijan’s role in the “South-South cooperation”, Azerbaijan “defends” Global South

On May 14, Azernews reported that President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev had received a delegation led by the Deputy Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Chairman of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Commission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Shen Yueyue.

  • Shen Yueyue noted that China supported the Azerbaijani people’s choice regarding their development path and Azerbaijan’s active international interaction on South-South cooperation “to tackle global climate change”.

Aliyev also emphasized that Azerbaijan was part of the Global South and “defended the interests of these countries within the Non-Aligned Movement framework”.

  • Shen Yueyue praised Aliyev’s leadership and emphasized his “resounding victory” in the election.

“In recent years, under your resolute and wise leadership, the Azerbaijani people have demonstrated unity and progressed along the path of development. Your country has witnessed sustainable stability and rapid economic development, and Azerbaijan’s strength has significantly increased,” he said.

Reportedly, the two sides expressed satisfaction regarding the development of relations between the ruling parties – the New Azerbaijan Party and the Chinese Communist Party. They also noted mutual support for BRI and the development of the Middle Corridor.

  • During the discussion, the two sides noted Chinese companies’ great interest in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the renewable energy sector. Discussions also focused on the production of electric buses, electric cars, renewable energy facilities, and the Chinese companies’ investments in this sector.


Azerbaijani representative says rapprochement of positions between Azerbaijan and China continues regardless of global pressures

The Center of Analysis of International Relations launched a conference titled “Reassessing Azerbaijan-China relations: The Way Forward” in Baku, Azertac reported on April 22.

  • According to Aze media, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elshad Iskandarov said at the event that regardless of global pressures, the rapprochement of positions between Azerbaijan and China continued.

“China supported Azerbaijan in the Karabakh issue by demonstrating its position at the UN Security Council. Azerbaijan also supports China’s position on many issues,” he noted.

  • The conference discussion topics included “Global and Regional Developments: Views from Azerbaijan and China”, “Potential Synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route”, and “Cooperation between Azerbaijan and China for Mutual Benefit: Economic, Cultural and People to People Exchanges”.


Azerbaijan deepens cooperation with the Chinese BYD Company

  • On April 22, the Department Head of the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan, Fariz Aliyev, said that a total of 160 electric buses imported from Chinese BYD Company Limited would be added to the public bus fleet in Azerbaijan.


  • On April 25, regarding the Azerbaijan-initiated bidding process to build a new-energy vehicle factory, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to China Bunyad Huseynov noted that the Chinese automaker BYD won the bid and signed an agreement to establish a joint venture company and set up an electric bus production line in Azerbaijan.


  • The Chinese state media Global Times reported that the Embassy of Azerbaijan in China was “actively promoting the green transformation and strengthening cooperation with Chinese companies in this field, including replacing the embassy’s fuel vehicles with BYD’s NEVs”.



The Chinese Ambassador claims China does not interfere in the internal politics of Georgia

On April 17, at a press conference in the Chinese Embassy, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian said that Georgia’s draft law on “foreign influence” was “completely the internal policy of the country” adding that the Chinese side “respected” internal politics of other countries.

“The fact that we do not interfere in the internal politics of Georgia means that we respect the sovereignty of the country,” Zhou Qian added.


Chinese Ambassador reportedly meets with the representatives of Batumi Port, Poti Port and the planned Anaklia Port

On May 7, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian visited Georgia’s Black Sea coast’s Batumi Port, Poti Port and the planned Anaklia Port meeting with the heads of relevant port management agencies, the Chinese Embassy in Georgia reported.


A photo from the meeting. Source: The Embassy of China in Georgia

  • Reportedly, the heads of relevant agencies introduced the situation of the ports and said that Georgia connects Europe and Asia and has an important geographical location.


  • “There is a willingness to strengthen exchanges and connection with Chinese enterprises, expand cooperation and continuously elevate Georgia’s interconnection capabilities,” the Embassy statement said.


  • Zhou Qian said that the cooperation between the two countries in infrastructure, communications, and logistics would usher in rapid development: “China is willing to continue to support relevant companies to grasp the development opportunities of the connection between the BRI and the Middle Corridor, deepen cooperation, [achieve] mutual benefit and win-win, and continuously enhance Georgia’s regional pivotal role”.


A “completed tunnel” in Georgia by the China Railway Tunnel Group

On April 23, Chinese state media Xinhua reported that the China Railway Tunnel Group “completed a major tunnel” on the Kvesheti-Kobi road section in Georgia while attaching the following picture.

Irakli Kobakhidze. Source: Xinhua

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze attended the event, saying the tunnel, “the longest in the country, would help facilitate winter travel for residents in mountainous areas and boost cargo transportation”.

  • Regarding the North-South Corridor, the Chinese state-controlled wrote that it would “elevate Georgia’s status as a crucial transportation hub and a vital corridor connecting Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and other neighbouring countries”.


Visitors from China to Georgia increased by 290%

On April 22, Georgia Today reported that in the first quarter of 2024, 9,905 visitors from China had visited Georgia, which was 290% more than the figure for the same period of the previous year.

  • The Chinese Ambassador announced that it was likely that the number of direct flights between Georgia and China would be increased in the near future.


A market for cars imported from China to Georgia is expected to open

On May 17, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian announced it was planned to organize a market for cars imported from China to Georgia, noting the market could be located in Kutaisi. The Ambassador said they didn’t know the exact date, but “it should be this year.”

  • The Ambassador also said that there were more investments and plans by various Chinese companies interested in Chinese investments in Georgia.