|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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Chinese Ambassador to Georgia published an article about China’s Covid policy
On January 11, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian published an article in Rezonansi newspaper entitled “We are maintaining scientifically accurate policies, moving steadily and consistently into the new post-pandemic era”, in which he mainly discussed “China’s great success in fighting the epidemic”.
For Georgian readers, he said that in the near future direct flights from Urumqi, Xinjiang, China to Tbilisi, Georgia, which had been suspended for almost three years, would resume. The Ambassador also noted that travel time and costs between China and Georgia would be “significantly reduced”.
“I am sure that by changing the epidemic prevention policy, China-Georgia contacts in various fields will further increase and mutually beneficial cooperation will move to a new level,” Zhou Qian added.
He announced that the Chinese Embassy would help more Chinese tourists to come to Georgia.
Zhou Qian also discussed China’s vaccines and said that the country provided up to two billion doses of vaccines to various countries, including Georgia, and to international organizations: “In the process of international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic, China paid special attention to developing countries, including Georgia”.
China – the third biggest export destination for Armenia
In January-November 2022, the third biggest export destination from Armenia was China with $329,8 million which was an 8.6% decrease compared to the same period of 2021, Armenpress reported on January 12.
Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan published an article about China’s Covid policy
On January 9, the Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min published an article at EurAsiaAz entitled “China’s Covid-19 policy adjustment is science-based, timely and necessary”.
In the article, along with discussing other China Covid policy-related issues, the Ambassador wrote that “since the outbreak of the epidemic”, China and Azerbaijan had stood by each other and overcame the difficulties together, “providing each other with firm moral support, timely material assistance and sharing important experiences, and jointly promoting international cooperation in combating the epidemic prevention, demonstrating the high level of mutual political trust between the two countries and fully illustrating the profound friendship of ‘true love in times of trouble'”.
She added that China was willing to work with all countries in the world, including Azerbaijan, to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and promote mutual learning among each other, “to contribute together to protecting the health and safety of the people and promoting the building community of common health for mankind”.
The article was also shared by the Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan.
“Armenia expects further economic cooperation with China”, Chinese CGTN reported
“Armenia expects further economic cooperation with China”, the Chinese state-run CGTN reported on January 15.
The President of the Armenian Tourism Federation, Mekhak Apresyan said that the relaxation of Covid control measures in China was very good news. He said that the number of Chinese tourists exceeded 15,000 in 2019 and added that after the relaxation of Covid control measures, the number of Chinese tourists would soon recover.
Armenian Member of Parliament, Hayk Mamijanyan noted that in terms of existing and potential economic and trade cooperation between China and Armenia, China’s relaxation of Covid measures was very important.
The Deputy Minister of Economy of Armenia, Armen Arzumanyan, said that products made in Armenia would be exported to China this year: “We are expecting an increase in exports. It is important to find our position in the Chinese market. Our exports to China are mainly mineral products. We wish to adjust the exporting structure and increase the proportion of finished products”.
Confucius Institute at Free University of Tbilisi to hold an event to celebrate “Chinese New Year”
On January 14, the Confucius Institute at the Free University of Tbilisi reported that on January 20, it would hold an event to celebrate the Spring Festival, “also known as Chinese New Year”. The institute wrote that the visitors could see and directly participate in various activities, “to get to know Chinese culture and New Year traditions”.
Reportedly the visitors will be able to learn about the Chinese New Year, see a Wushu performance, and get to know Chinese calligraphy and painting. Visitors can also participate in the quiz “What do we know about China?”
The awarding ceremony of the students’ poetry and students’ hieroglyphs competition will also be held at the event.