|ავტორი: Medea Ivaniadze|
China’s Activities in the South Caucasus
Issue 53, 13.06.2022 – 19.06.2022
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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News from June 9
In the first quarter of 2022, China was the fourth biggest investor in Georgia
On June 9, Geostat reported about Georgia’s major direct investor countries in the first quarter of 2022, when China was the country’s fourth-largest investor with $36.4 million. That was 6.4% of total investments. In 2021, China’s total investment in Georgia amounted to $19.3 million.
13.06.2022 – 19.06.2022
Yerevan and Qingdao signed an agreement on the establishment of friendly cooperation relations
The signing ceremony. Source: Embassy of Armenia to China
On June 16, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Armenia, the Chinese city Qingdao and Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, signed an agreement on the establishment of friendly cooperation relations, Qingdao China Daily reported.
The Vice-mayor of Qingdao Liu Jianjun said that Yerevan and Qingdao had broad prospects for cooperation in machinery manufacturing, international trade and two-way tourism. He also welcomed enterprises in Yerevan “to carry out economic and trade cooperation with Qingdao counterparts” under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Armenian Ambassador to China Sergey Manassarian expressed hope that the agreement would continue to expand and deepen cooperation, and enhance people-to-people ties, between the two nations. He said that Armenia attached great importance to relations with China.
Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong said that the Qingdao-Yerevan friendly cooperation city relationship had great significance to promote regional economic, trade and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
The first block train sent to Europe passing through the Middle Corridor from China’s Chengdu arrived in Baku – CJSC
The press secretary of Baku International Sea Trade Port CJSC Elmar Habibli said that the first block train sent to Europe passing through the Middle Corridor from China’s Chengdu arrived in Baku Port, APA reported on June 16. Reportedly, containers were sent to the Georgian port of Batumi. Their final destination was various European cities.
China and Georgia are “trusted partners”, Chinese Ambassador to Georgia says
On June 15, an article by the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian was published in the Chinese newspaper International Business Daily, Chinese Embassy in Georgia reported.
He wrote that China and Georgia have been good friends and partners, “trusting each other and cooperating in good faith, respecting each other, helping each other, developing together, promoting the deepening of business cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative and other areas”.
The Ambassador noted that China and Georgia jointly defended the international system, and respected each other’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and core interests.
“Together they pursue true multilateralism and defend a multilateral trading system,” Zhou Qian added. The Chinese Ambassador also added that political trust between the two sides was growing day by day and they were “trusted partners”.
He highlighted that the Free Trade Agreement between China and Georgia and the Belt and Road Initiative offered broad prospects for further deepening of pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
Zhou Qian also expressed hope that Georgia would play the role of a connecting bridge and help Chinese companies to enter the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eastern Europe, and Western Asia, which would “bring even more benefits to the markets and populations of both countries”.
China is Azerbaijan’s third-biggest import partner
In January-May 2022, China was Azerbaijan’s third-biggest import partner ($762.8 million), Azernews reported on June 17.
China and Armenia’s Armavir region to strengthen cooperation
Fan Yong, Edvard Hovhannisyan, David Khudatyan. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Armenia
On June 10, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong visited the Armavir region. During this visit, the Ambassador met with the head of the region Edvard Hovhannisyan and the mayor of the city of Armavir David Khudatyan.
The Chinese Ambassador said that in recent years, political mutual trust between the two countries “has been constantly strengthening and practical cooperation, cultural exchanges have reached new heights”.
The Chinese Embassy in Armenia expressed readiness to actively promote regional exchange and cooperation projects between the Chinese side and the Armavir region, present and promote more local high-quality products for export to the Chinese market, and attract more Chinese tourists to Armenia.
According to the Chinese Embassy report, Armavir region is ready to strengthen and develop regional cooperation with China and “borrow the successful experience of China’s rapid economic development”.
The World Food Programme conducted a project in an Armenian village with support from China
The World Food Programme (WFP) launched the Covid-19 South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) Opportunity Fund in 2021, with technical support from China to help rural families to fight poverty and food insecurity including in Lusakert, Shirak province of Armenia.
“The project was implemented through the generous donation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, WFP through its COVID-19 SSTC Opportunity Fund implemented an agricultural development project in Lusakert, Shirak province of Armenia. With the support, 15 smallholder farmers received drip irrigation systems for backyard berry gardens, berry seedlings, solar stations, and training sessions on skills improvement and selling techniques,” the statement said.