|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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News from July 15
Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan ready to deepen cooperation with Azerbaijan’s University of Languages
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan
On July 15, the Ambassador of China to Azerbaijan Guo Min held a meeting with the Rector of Azerbaijan’s University of Languages Kamal Abdullah.
The Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan wrote that it was ready to further deepen cooperation with the university, organize exchanges and visits between universities and research groups of the two countries, and “make a new contribution to the development of traditional friendship between China and Azerbaijan”.
The Rector said that “the traditional friendship between Azerbaijan and China” was strong, and friendship and strategic mutual trust between the heads of the two states created “a solid foundation for the stable development of bilateral relations”.
Reportedly, the university is ready for further expansion of cooperation in education and culture fields between Azerbaijan and China.
18.07.2022 – 24.07.2022
Georgian PM “is ready to move bilateral relations to a new level”
Irakli Garibashvili and Zhou Qian. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Georgia
On July 22, the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian met with the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili. According to the Chinese Embassy report, the two sides discussed issues of bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.
Zhou Qian noted that as the newly appointed Ambassador of China to Georgia, he “would spare no effort, actively fulfill his duties and use the favorable moment of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations to promote the continuous progress of Chinese-Georgian relations”. The Ambassador presented three volumes of the CCP Chairman Xi Jinping’s “The Governance of China” to Garibashvili.
The Prime Minister thanked the Chinese side for the help provided in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Garibashvili, Georgia “attaches great importance to the development of friendly relations with China, highly appreciates the results of cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and is ready to move bilateral relations to a new level”.
According to the Georgian Government report, the parties also expressed hope that the next annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation of Georgia and China would be held soon. The importance of maintaining the positive dynamic of high-level visits was also noted at the meeting. Reportedly, the two sides also focused on bolstering bilateral educational and scientific ties.
Chinese media continues targeting Georgia’s 2003 democratic revolution
On July 21, Chinese state media China Daily once again published propaganda entitled “International observation: The US instigated ‘color revolution’ to endanger the world”. The content discussed Georgia’s Rose Revolution of 2003: “After the end of the Cold War, the United States unbridledly pursued interventionism and frequently instigated ‘color revolutions’: at the end of 2003, on the grounds of ‘fraudulent’ vote counting in the parliamentary elections, the former Georgian President [Eduard] Shevardnadze was forced to resign and supported the opposition leader [Mikheil] Saakashvili’s coming to power, what is called ‘the Rose Revolution’…”
In January-June 2022, China was Georgia’s third-biggest trading partner
In January-June 2022, China was Georgia’s third-biggest trading partner with $922.5 million, which was 10.9% of the total Georgian trade, Geostat reported on July 19.
China was Georgia’s top trading partner by exports with $400 million (15.6% of total exports). Compared to the same period last year, that was a 38% growth.
China was the third-biggest import partner of Georgia ($522.5 million) accounting for 8.8% of total imports. Compared to January-June 2021 that was a 43.9% growth.
In January-May 2022, China was Azerbaijan’s third-biggest import partner
In January-May 2022, China was Azerbaijan’s third-biggest import partner with 14.9% of total Azerbaijani imports, Azernews reported on July 24.
In the same period, China accounted for 3.8% of Azerbaijan’s total trade turnover.
Agreement is signed on the expansion of the Hualing Free Industrial Zone in Kutaisi
Zhou Qian and Levan Davitashvili. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Georgia
On July 22, at the invitation of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian attended the signing ceremony of the agreement “on the expansion of the Hualing Free Industrial Zone of Kutaisi”, the Chinese Embassy in Georgia reported. The Ambassador and the Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia and the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili discussed the issues of industrial zone development and investment attraction.
The construction of the Hualing Free Industrial Zone of Kutaisi started in 2012. In October 2015, it became a Free Industrial Zone. It covers 35.93 hectares, and after expansion, 22.34 hectares will be added with the total area reaching 58.27 hectares.
Chinese Ambassador delivered a lecture at the Diplomatic School of Armenia
Fan Yong and Vahe Gabrielyan, the Director of the Diplomatic School of Armenia. Source: Diplomatic School of Armenia
On July 20, the Ambassador of China Fan Yong delivered a lecture at the Diplomatic School of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, the Diplomatic School of Armenia reported. Reportedly, the Ambassador spoke about the principles and concepts of China’s foreign policy, the Belt and Road Initiative and Armenia’s participation in it. He also pointed out Armenia-China relations and their development, particularly in the fields of economy, education, and high technology.