|ავტორი: 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 175th out of 180 countries)
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In January-April 2022, China was Georgia’s second-biggest trading partner
In January-April 2022, China was Georgia’s second-biggest trading partner with $614.6 million, which is 11.7% of total Georgian trade, Geostat reported on May 19.
China was Georgia’s top trading partner by exports, accounting for 18.3% of total exports, which is $290.4 million. Compared to the same period last year, that was a 46.4% growth. Copper ores and concentrates continue to be a top export item from Georgia to China accounting for 82.6% ($239.9 million) of Georgia’s total exports to China.
China was the third-biggest import partner for Georgia with $324.2 million (8.8% of total imports). Compared to January-April 2021, that was a 42.8% growth.
Japanese company launches China-Europe transport service through Azerbaijan and Georgia
Service route map from China to Europe via the Caspian Sea. Source: Nippon Express Holdings
On April 1, Nippon Express (China) Co., Ltd., a group company of Nippon Express Holdings, launched a new intermodal service for transport from various locations in China to Europe via the Caspian Sea, Nippon Express Holdings reported on May 17.
According to a map at the Nippon Express Holdings website, cargo is transported by rail from numerous locations in China to Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, where it is transshipped to EU railways or trucks for delivery to locations throughout Europe.
It will take approximately 50 to 55 days for the freight delivery from China’s Xian to Germany’s Duisburg. Service frequency is once per week.
According to the report, logistics in China has been heavily impacted by the spread of Covid-19 “as prolonged lockdowns in Shanghai have resulted in airport and port congestion, and trucking in the East China area connecting to Shanghai’s suburbs continues to face difficulties”.
This new service can be used as a business continuity plan transport mode for Europe-bound cargo that does not pass through Russia. Nippon Express Co., Ltd. is a Japanese global logistics services company.
China’s Ambassador says that China-Azerbaijan relations are at the best period in history
On May 18, China’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Guo Min, published an article in Sina about China-Azerbaijan relations. Guo Min wrote that “political mutual trust” between Azerbaijan and China was continuously deepening and “pragmatic cooperation reached significant achievements”. She noted that the two countries’ relations were at the best period in history.
The Ambassador emphasized that the development strategies of the two countries were highly congenial, the cooperation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative had “made solid progress”, and the “pragmatic cooperation” in the fields of economy and trade, transportation, energy and communications had continuously deepened.
According to the Ambassador, China and Azerbaijan actively participate in regional and international affairs, closely cooperate on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, CICA and others. “They resolutely oppose unilateralism and hegemonic bullying, and firmly support each other’s defense of core interests such as independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They support the major cooperation proposals put forward by the other side, and jointly practice multilateralism, which vigorously safeguards international fairness and justice and defends the fundamental interests of the vast number of developing countries”.
Chinese state media continues targeting Georgia’s 2003 democratic revolution
On May 17, another propaganda article was published in the Chinese state media outlet China Daily entitled: “Dirty deeds and back-alley deals, that’ll be NED [The National Endowment for Democracy]”, where it continued to target Georgia’s democratic revolution of 2003. The article said the following:
“…Toppling the regime of a target country is the ultimate goal on the organization’s to-do list. Historically, the NED has been behind the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it was the instigator of the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the Arab Spring”.
Another article published by the China Daily on May 19, claimed that “‘color revolutions’ that were supported, financed or instigated by the NED around the world – the Velvet Revolution in Serbia in 2000, the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, and, of course, the Arab Spring involving Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Syria, Libya, etc, in 2011 – have toppled governments and caused civil unrest in the countries they targeted”.
Denmark launches a new route to transport cargo from China to Europe via Azerbaijan and Georgia
Danish transport and logistics group Maersk has launched an updated rail service connecting China and Europe, Azernews reported on May 19.
Reportedly, freight will be transported through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania, taking approximately 40 days to deliver rail freight to its destinations. From Romania the cargo is railed to various destinations across European countries.
According to the report, Maersk started developing this new route in March, and in April had the first departure from China, serving customers from the lifestyle, automotive, and household appliances industries.
China is Azerbaijan’s third-biggest import partner
In January-April 2022, China was Azerbaijan’s third-biggest import partner, accounting for $620.5 million, Azernews reported on May 20.
A seminar about China-Azerbaijan theater relations was held at an Azerbaijani University
A seminar on “China-Azerbaijan theater relations” was held at the Azerbaijan University of Languages, Azertac reported on May 17.
Rafiq Abbasov, the Director of the Confucius Institute, said that drama art was an important means to deepen the mutual understanding and trust between the two countries.