Author: David Batashvili


China Radar: South Caucasus is a monthly publication by Rondeli Foundation (GFSIS) dedicated to China’s activities and influence in the three nations of South Caucasus.

With the global rise of great power tensions and competition related to China’s role in the world, Rondeli Foundation began to take a closer look at China’s role in our own region. Since July 2020, we have been publishing China’s Activities in the South Caucasus digest that exhaustively covers events and developments in this regard. China Radar builds on China’s Activities digest to provide experts, researchers, civil servants and other observers of China’s foreign strategy with a comprehensive summary of China’s political, diplomatic, economic, informational, soft power and other activities towards Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as these nations’ stances and actions concerning China.

Sources of information provided in China Radar can be found in the issues of China’s Activities digest covering the relevant months unless indicated otherwise. All issues of both China Radar and China’s Activities digest can be found on Rondeli Foundation’s China Watch page.


China-Georgia Strategic Partnership

On 21 March, Georgian prime minister Irakli Kobakhidze accused Georgian critics of the strategic partnership with China of conducting an anti-Chinese campaign saying its purpose was “to damage our state interests” and calling it an “anti-state action.”


China’s Presence, Activities and Influence in the South Caucasus

Political Activities

Deputy head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Chen Zhou met with the Azerbaijani president’s foreign policy assistant Hikmet Hajiyev in Beijing, with the two stressing “significant contribution” of “the active dialogue between the [ruling] New Azerbaijan Party and the Chinese Communist Party” to the two countries’ relations.


Diplomatic Messaging

In a 15 March meeting with the Azerbaijani ecology and natural resources minister Mukhtar Babayev, China’s assistant foreign minister Miao Deyu pushed forward Beijing’s foreign strategy concept of “building a community with a shared future for mankind.”


Economic Involvement and Connections

Georgia’s deputy economy minister Mariam Kvrivishvili stated that the Georgian authorities were engaged in negotiations with Chinese airlines “for all three airports of Georgia to have direct air traffic with different provinces and central airports of China.”


Soft Power

Georgia’s pro-government Imedi TV’s director Maka Lomidze met with the Chinese ambassador Zhou Qian on 14 March, expressing the TV channel’s readiness to “deepen cooperation with China and actively introduce Chinese history, culture, economic and social development, and Georgia-China relations to the Georgian people.” The Chinese embassy expressed its willingness to “actively assist Imedi TV in developing cooperation with China.”


Stances and Activities by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia Benefiting China’s Foreign Policy

Support for China and its Policies

In an interview to the Chinese state-run media Global Times, published on 25 March, Azerbaijani president’s foreign policy assistant Hikmet Hajiyev defended Huawei from its international critics saying that “some other countries engage in unnecessary propaganda, particularly in relation to security and other issues, which hinders genuine competition and economic development.” Hajiyev also praised and expressed support for Beijing’s Global Development Initiative.