Author: David Batashvili, Research Fellow at Rondeli Foundation


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

The Bilateral Visa Exemption Agreement between Georgia and China took effect on 28 May, with the launching ceremony attended by the Chinese ambassador Zhou Qian as well as Georgian deputy ministers of foreign affairs and economy.


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

Diplomatic Messaging

Chinese Ambassador to Georgia, Zhou Qian, visited Georgia’s Batumi and Poti ports, as well as the planned Anaklia port on 7 May, expressing China’s support for development “of the connection between the BRI and the Middle Corridor.”


Economic Involvement and Connections

On 29 May, Georgian authorities announced completion of the selection process of Georgia’s private partner for the Anaklia deep-water port construction project. Tbilisi said that the only final proposal had been received from the consortium of China Communications Construction Company Limited (China) and China Harbor Investment Pte. Ltd (Singapore).


As part of Armenia’s Crossroads of Peace regional transportation development initiative, on 31 May the first cargo truck from Shanghai, China arrived in Yerevan, Armenia after passing through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran in over 20 days.


As the Georgian 1TV reported on 31 May, China Southern Airlines had increased the frequency of direct Urumqi-Tbilisi-Urumqi flights from four to seven per week.


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

Support for the Belt and Road Initiative

In a 14 May meeting with a high-ranking official of Beijing’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Shen Yueyue, president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, reiterated Baku’s support for the BRI.


Other Support for China and its Policies

On 20 May, Azerbaijani foreign ministry speaker Aykhan Hajizada once again stressed Baku’s support for the one-China policy, reiterating that it did not recognize Taiwan’s independence. Azerbaijan’s ambassador to China Bunyad Huseynov also spoke of his country’s “unwavering support for the one-China policy on all platforms.”