|Author: 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 Communist Party of China (according to the World Press Freedom Index China is nearly at the bottom of the list and ranks 177th out of 180 countries)
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14.6.2021 – 20.6.2021
Georgian officials and other public figures participated in an event dedicated to the founding of the Communist Party of China
Photo from the conference. Source: Jemal Putkaradze/Facebook
On June 15, with the support of the Chinese Embassy in Georgia and Georgian Times media outlet, an international conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China was held in Zoom, entitled “Sharing positive experience and creating a better future together”.
The Chinese Ambassador Li Yan delivered a welcoming speech on “the role of the ruling Communist Party of China in the development of the country – 100 years of experience”. The Ambassador talked about the Communist Party of China, its “achievements” and relations with Georgia.
“Since its establishment, the mission of the Communist Party of China has been to achieve the happiness of people and national rejuvenation… The Chinese Communist Party supports the peace and the development of mankind, promoting the establishment of China as a central peacekeeping force in the world. China maintains an independent and sovereign, peaceful foreign policy, fights hegemony… supports the community with shared future for mankind,” Li Yan said.
According to Li Yan, China has traditionally been a friendly country and an important partner of Georgia, relations between the two countries are developing steadily and healthily, and they are actively cooperating in various fields with the cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative also developing continuously.
“The Chinese side stands ready to continue to deepen friendly ties and cooperation with Georgia, to share experience in state governance, to communicate and coordinate on important international issues, to share opportunities together for China and Georgia, these two ancient civilizations, to shine together,” Li Yan stressed.
Li Yan told the participants of the conference that they had been promoting Sino-Georgian relations for years, for which she thanked each of them.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Alexandre Khvtisiashvili congratulated China’s ruling Communist Party of China on its 100th anniversary. He said that China was one of the most special countries in Georgia’s foreign relations. Deputy Foreign Minister also noted that Georgia attached great importance to the inflow of Chinese investments and expressed hope that this potential would be fully used.
At the conference, the Director-General of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia Amiran Gamkrelidze said that the National Centre was beginning a relationship with one of the “strongest international institutions, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention”.
“I welcome that our relations are developing more and for that I would like to thank the Ambassador of China,” Gamkrelidze said.
CEO of the Partnership Fund David Saganelidze discussed Georgia-China business relations. Giorgi Amilakhvari, the ruling Georgian Dream party MP and the head of the Friendship Group with the Parliament of the People’s Republic of China talked about prospects of Georgia-China cooperation.
General Director of Georgia’s Chamber of Commerce, Georgia’s former Ambassador to China and a professor at University of International Business and Economics in Beijing David Aptsiauri presented Georgia-China economic cooperation topics.
The Founder and President of Georgian Times Malkhaz Gulashvili said that Georgia-China relations have never been as intense as today, but according to him “this is not the limit”. He said Georgian Times had always tried to drive these processes and that they were holding the conference every year. According to him, the aim of the event was for Georgia to share the “positive experience” that China has achieved in the last 100 years, and “the major reforms” carried out since the Communist Party of China had come to power. Gulashvili also said that “the conference aims to provide information about the development of China to the general population of Georgia and share its experience as a very successful country.”
Malkhaz Gulashvili announced that in the future, this format would be further expanded with plans to arrange a China-Georgia TV bridge, in which Chinese “experts” would be involved.
According to a professor at Caucasus International University, a member of the International Association of Sinologists Vakhtang Maisaia, at the conference they talked about how Georgia can use China’s “successful” state-building experience. He said that China converged two systems, the capitalist and the socialist, and achieved considerable success.
“The introduction of the Chinese experience in Georgia will be very good,” Maisaia stressed. The topic he discussed was “geostrategic and geopolitical aspects of the new world order and the formula for China’s center of global influence”.
Simon Kiladze, “an international media expert,” said that Georgian Times was actively involved in a project where content about Georgian companies was spread in China, but Covid-19 and financial problems affected the project and it was suspended. Kiladze said he thought this cooperation should continue.
The following figures discussed the following topics:
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Giorgi Khanishvili – Agro-industrial policy, the introduction of innovations.
An adviser to the Georgian Minister of Agriculture and the Director of the Research Institute of China Studies at the Georgian Technical University Jemal Putkaradze – Georgian-Chinese geoeconomic success and achievements.
President of Georgian National Academy of Sciences Giorgi Kvesitadze – China Agro-Industrial Policy.
Tamar Koriauli, Acting First Deputy Head of the National Tourism Administration of Georgia – Opportunities for further development of cooperation between Georgia and China in the field of tourism.
Alexander Guchua, associate professor at Caucasus International University – Experience of successful reform of Chinese statehood for Georgia.
Director Goga Khaindrava – 113-year history of Georgian-Chinese relations.
Vakhtang Charaia, Director of TSU Center for Analysis and Forecasting – Georgian-Chinese economic issues.
The conference was moderated by Malkhaz Gulashvili, the Founder and President of the Georgian Times.
Chinese Ambassador and Azerbaijani ruling party officials discussed inter-party cooperation, exchange of experience in state governance
Photo from the meeting. Source: Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan
On June 15, the Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan reported that the Ambassador of China in Azerbaijan Guo Min visited the headquarter of Azerbaijan’s ruling New Azerbaijan Party and discussed inter-party cooperation and exchange of experience in state governance with the Deputy Chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party Ali Ahmadov and Deputy Chairman – Head of the Central Office of the Party Tahir Budagov.
Guo Min noted that, thanks to the strategic planning and leadership of Xi Jinping and Ilham Aliyev, China-Azerbaijan relations were experiencing dynamic progress and fruitful results had been achieved in various fields.
“China attaches great importance to inter-party cooperation with Azerbaijan. The Chinese Communist Party is ready to conduct an in-depth exchange of experience in the field of party building and state governance with the New Azerbaijan Party to further enrich the forms and content of cooperation between the two parties for the benefit of the two countries and their peoples,” the Chinese Embassy wrote.
Akhmedov and Budagov congratulated Guo Min on the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China and noted that CCP regards the pursuit of happiness for the Chinese people and the rejuvenation for the Chinese nation as its original aspiration and mission and has made historic achievements that have attracted the attention of the whole world:
“CPC’s experience in state governance should be learned by all countries of the world. The New Azerbaijan Party and the Communist Party of China, as ruling parties, both carry the same historical mission. We’d like to seize the opportunity of celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the CPC to further deepen friendly cooperation between the two parties, strengthen the exchange of experience in state governance and jointly push bilateral relations of China and Azerbaijan to a new level”.
Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister hopes that China-Georgia cooperation will be strengthened under the BRI
Le Yucheng and Archil Kalandia. Source: Georgian Embassy in China
On June 18, on the occasion of the 103rd anniversary of the founding of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia and the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Georgia’s independence, the Embassy of Georgia in China hosted a reception at the Beijing Marriott Hotel.
The Ambassador of Georgia Archil Kalandia met with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng after which they addressed the audience.
Le Yucheng spoke of the strong friendly relations and partnership between China and Georgia, which were further strengthened during the global pandemic and expressed hope that cooperation between the two countries would be strengthened within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Ambassador thanked the Government of China for its support to Georgia during the pandemic and for the timely delivery of vaccines. He also emphasized close trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Representatives of Chinese government agencies, business and cultural circles, diplomatic missions accredited in Beijing and the Georgian diaspora attended the event.
The Chinese Ambassador to Armenia gave an interview to the local media
Fan Yong. Source: News.am
On June 18, in an interview with News.am, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong discussed the potential for the development of Armenian-Chinese economic relations and the development of tourism.
Fan Yong said that the interest of Chinese companies in economic and trade cooperation with Armenia was actively increasing, while investment and other economic cooperation projects in Armenia were increasing year by year, “including North-South highways, power station construction, mineral water factory, clothing factories, etc.”
In terms of trade, the Ambassador said that China welcomed Armenian commodities to explore the Chinese market and share China’s development opportunities, and noted that it was highly recommended for Armenia to increase the promotion of its products in China, actively organize enterprises to participate in various trade promotion activities in China, promote the export of Armenian products, and promote the development of trade between the two countries. In terms of investment, Fan Yong recommended Armenia “to continue improvement of its business environment, introduce preferential policies to attract foreign investment, maintain policy stability and timely introduce and disclose project conditions”. He said that the Chinese Embassy in Armenia would actively promote investment.
Regarding the opening of direct flights between Armenia and China Fan Yong said that the Chinese were willing to work with relevant Armenian authorities to continue to promote the opening of direct flights, but it “is not an easy task to complete, for airlines, the passenger flow is the key. In short, only a certain number of passenger flows can ensure that airlines do not lose money in their operations”. He noted that for Chinese tourists, Armenia still was a niche country with few Chinese tourists considering Armenia as a direct tourist destination country. The Ambassador recommended Armenia increase the promotion of Chinese tourists. He also welcomed “relevant Armenian departments” to participate in the International Fair for Trade in Services and China International Import Expos.
Fan Yong also said that Chinese aviation companies such as China Southern Airlines were actively researching, concerning the opening of direct flights to Armenia, but this process had been affected in the context of the epidemic: “After the epidemic eases, China hopes to discuss the details of cooperation with relevant departments in Armenia”.
Fan Yong said that recently he had a working exchange with the Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan and the Minister showed the Chinese side some project cooperation suggestions, including science and technology city, free industrial park, non-ferrous metal smelting, chemical plant transformation, agricultural land and effective use of water resources, etc.
“China is pleased to see the two countries deepen practical and friendly cooperation and will encourage enterprises to actively study the possibility of investment and cooperation in Armenian projects,” Fan commented.
About attracting Chinese investments, he said that formulating preferential policies for attracting foreign investment and maintaining policy stability and predictability were necessary to increase the confidence of foreign capital in operating in Armenia:
“Armenia is relatively closed and the logistics are not flexible. This is an important reason that affects the exchange between China and Armenia and this is a problem that needs to be improved and resolved. Armenia has a creative nation and companies often propose cooperation ideas to us. If we can formulate specific and operational business plans for these ideas, it will be very beneficial to attract foreign investment. China and Armenia are far apart, many Chinese people don’t know much about Armenia. It is recommended to learn from Georgia’s wine promotion and develop a special marketing plan for the Chinese market to expand the sales of Armenian products in China and attract Chinese tourists”.
Georgian official continues to praise China
On June 18, the Director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) – Georgian Technical University’s (GTU) Research Institute of China Studies and an adviser to the Minister of environmental protection and agriculture of Georgia Jemal Putkaradze published an article in a Chinese state media outlet, China Daily.
Jemal Putkaradze claimed that China continued to “amaze the world with its remarkable achievements” as well as exhibiting “wise and able leadership”.
“As 2021 is also the first year of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the country seems set to perform more miracles, which will help strengthen its ties with Georgia,” he wrote.
Putkaradze stated that China-Georgia collaboration was “an example of equality-based harmonious cooperation”.
While discussing China-Georgia relations, Putkaradze wrote that Georgia had established a think tank with internationally recognized scholars and experts “to devise plans for the development of the Belt and Road Initiative”. According to Jemal Putkaradze, if the Georgian government includes the Chinese language in the national curriculum, as it has planned, it will further boost cooperation in the education sector.
Putkaradze wrote that China was committed to expanding cooperation with Georgia and implementing the important agreements the leaders of the two countries had reached.
“Based on the principle of mutual benefit, China intends to use the FTA [China-Georgia free trade agreement] to deepen cooperation and expand cultural exchanges for the well-being of people on both sides,” Putkaradze wrote.
Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Station in Nakhchivan constructed with the assistance of China
A new Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Station has been constructed in Julfa district of Nakhchivan.
Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Nakhchivan Vasif Talibov said that a 1.1 MW Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Station “was constructed at the expense of additional equipment provided to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic by the People’s Republic of China as a grant project”.
Talibov expressed his gratitude and appreciation to China and the Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani products exhibited in China
Akram Zeynalli. Source: Azertac
On June 15-18, Azerbaijan participated in the 31st International Trade and Economic Exhibition in Harbin, China.
A stand of “Made in Azerbaijan” exhibited products of more than 20 companies related to the carpet weaving as well as food and beverages industry. Also, information was provided on the investment, transport-transit and tourism potential of Azerbaijan.
At the opening ceremony, Azerbaijani Ambassador Akram Zeynalli pointed out that China’s Belt and Road Initiative created new opportunities for the participating countries, and talked about the significant role of Azerbaijan in transit transportation between Asia and Europe.
Azerbaijan’s participation was supported by the Economy Ministry and the organization of a Trade Representation of Azerbaijan in China.
According to Azernews, earlier this year Azerbaijan also participated in the China Food and Drinks Fair and TAOWINE Hotel Show exhibition in Chengdu, China.
A pro-Beijing article was published in Azerbaijani media
On June 18, an article entitled “Azerbaijan is China’s natural strategic cooperative partner” was published in Azertac by a “famous Sinologist”, the head of the Department of Languages and Literature of the Far East, Baku State University, Ogtay Jalilbayli.
He wrote about Azerbaijan-China ties within the Silk Road, praised CCP, and discussed its policies and initiatives as well as socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Azerbaijani representative publishes article in Azerbaijani media
On June 15, a member of the New Azerbaijani Party, Senior Advisor to the Office of the Former President, professor at Azerbaijan University of Languages, and director of the Azerbaijani branch of the Confucius Institute at the said university, Rafiq Abbasov, published an article titled “100 years achievements of CCP” in Azertac.
He wrote about CCP, China’s model, it’s aspirations under CCP’s rule, and socialism with Chinese characteristics among other topics.
According to Abbasov, “the political cooperation and inter-party dialogue between the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and the Communist Party of China are constantly deepening”.
21.6.2021 – 27.6.2021
Xi Jinping is ready to raise bilateral relations with Armenia to a new level
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping congratulated Armenian President Armen Sarkissian on his birthday, News.am reported on June 23.
Xi Jinping noted that he attached great importance to the development of Chinese-Armenian relations and was ready to make joint efforts to raise bilateral relations to a new level for the benefit of both countries and peoples.
The General Secretary of the CCP stressed that Armenia was one of China’s traditional friendly countries. He said that last year China and Armenia “fought hand in hand against the coronavirus pandemic and this was a new impetus for the development of bilateral relations and cooperation”.
Chinese Ambassador: Armenia was one of the first countries to actively participate in BRI
On June 24, an Armenian media outlet People’s Weekly published an article by the Chinese Ambassador Fan Yong, entitled “The success of the governing of China lies in the leadership of the Communist Party of China”. He discussed and praised CCP’s achievements and also touched upon China-Armenia relations.
The Ambassador noted that Armenia was one of the first countries to respond to and actively participate in the building of the Belt and Road Initiative.
“The Communist Party of China is willing to continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with friendly political parties in Armenia, share experience in party and country governance, launch exchanges and dialogues, enhance mutual trust, promote the building of the community with shared future for mankind and work together to build a better world,” the Ambassador wrote.
In January-May, China was Georgia’s third-largest trading partner
According to preliminary information, in January-May 2021, China was Georgia’s third-biggest trading partner with the turnover of $ 552 million (11% of total turnover), Geostat reported on June 21.
China was Georgia’s top trading partner by exports with $ 262.4 million which was 17.1% of Georgia’s total exports and amounted to the growth of 62.3% compared to the same period last year. The top export item to China was copper ores and concentrates, comprising 82.7% of Georgia’s total exports to China ($217.2 million).
During January-May 2021, China was the third-largest partner by import for Georgia with $289.5 million, which was 8.3% of total imports. Compared to the same period last year, that was a growth of 5.4%.
Representatives of Armenian parties congratulate CCP on its 100th anniversary
Political parties, political leaders and “friendly individuals” in other countries extended “warm congratulations” on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, Chinese state media reported on June 27.
These included Armenian representatives: the head of the Bright Armenia Party Edmon Marukyan, the general secretary of Armenia’s Social-Democrat Hunchakian Party Radik Karapetyan, acting first secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia Central Committee Yerjanik Ghazaryan, the president of the Peace Committee of Armenia Grigor Petrosyan, the chairman of Armenia’s United Progressive Communist Party Vazgen Safaryan.
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China increases
In January-April 2021, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China amounted to $553.4 million, which was 10.2% more than in the same period of the last year, Azernews reported on June 27.
Azerbaijan’s export to China amounted to $119.7 million, which was a 55.3% increase, while import from China amounted to $433.7 million (an increase of 2%).
Georgian Chamber of Culture signed a memorandum with a Chinese state company
Chinese representatives and the Chairman of the Georgian Chamber of Culture David Okitashvili. Source: Georgia Chamber of Culture
On June 27, the Georgian Chamber of Culture reported that it had signed a memorandum of “historical significance” with the Chinese state company DAFANG.
According to the statement, the purpose of the memorandum is to establish an international cultural-educational center in Georgia. It says that the center will aim to implement exchange programs between Georgia and China in the fields of culture, education, art and finance.
“To enable the Chinese youngsters to deepen their knowledge by getting acquainted with and studying the centuries-old history of Georgian culture and art. Georgian youngsters will be given the opportunity to get acquainted with the leading fields of Chinese culture and economy, to improve their qualifications, so in the future Georgian and Chinese youngsters can become successful in their countries,” the statement said.
Students of Georgian Technical University will be involved in this project.
Another Azerbaijani public figure praises CCP’s China
Yasif Nasirov and Chinese Ambassador Guo Min. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan.
On June 21, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of CCP, an article “China – a magical country in the Far East” was published in Azertac. The author is the Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Foreign Friendship Association, the Chairman of Veterans Charity Foundation, Vice Chairman of World Azerbaijani Cultural Center, “meritorious artist and writer” Yasif Nasirov.
Nasirov discussed China-Azerbaijan ties within the Silk Road and after establishing diplomatic relations, and wrote about the CCP, its “achievements”, victory against epidemics etc.
“The leadership of the Communist Party and the public-owned economy being the main part that guaranteed the validity of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” Nasirov wrote in the article.
Nasirov also wrote that in November 2016, at the invitation of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, he went to Beijing for a friendly visit and noted that over the past years, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Friendship Association had organized many symposiums, round tables and other cultural activities dedicated to the development of Azerbaijan-China relations.
“Azerbaijan’s Foreign Friendship Association is willing to continue to develop all kinds of fruitful cooperation with China,” he stressed.
Azerbaijani Sinologist: Silk Road is an important fulcrum for building a community with shared future for mankind
On June 25, an article entitled “China – my alma mater” by Agshin Aliyev, Sinologist, Director of Azerbaijani Language Teaching and Research section at Asian institute, Beijing Foreign Studies University was published on Azertac.
He wrote about studying and working in China, Azerbaijan-China ties, Belt and Road Initiative etc.
“Today, the great project of the Silk Road became an important fulcrum for building a community with shared future for mankind,” Agshin Aliyev wrote.
Confucius Institute in Azerbaijan held another cultural seminar
On June 17, on the occasion of World Acrobatics Day and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Baku National Circus, the Confucius Institute at Azerbaijan University of Languages held an online seminar on Chinese diabolo, Azertac reported on June 25.