|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 Chinese Communist Party (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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23.8.2021 – 29.8.2021
Azerbaijani, Georgian diplomats deliver online speeches at China’s expo in Xinjiang
Archil Kalandia, Vugar Panahov. Source: Screenshot/CNS
On August 24, the China Eurasia Commodity and Trade Online Expo 2021 opened in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China. According to Chinese media, guests and envoys from multiple countries joined the ceremony through video links from 170 branches, including Georgian Ambassador to China, Archil Kalandia, and counsellor from Azerbaijan’s Embassy in China, Vugar Panahov.
Kalandia said that cooperation between Georgia and China in various fields had made smooth progress in recent years:
“The BRI proposed by Chairman Xi Jinping is of great importance to Georgia. We are willing to give full play to our distinctive advantages and strengthen cooperation with China in various fields. I wish the expo complete success, the participating countries and organizations to achieve fruitful cooperation, and comprehensively promote exchanges and cooperation between Asian and European countries and international organizations for mutual benefit and win-win results,” Chinese media reported him saying.
Panahov said that Azerbaijan attached great importance to bilateral and multilateral cooperation with China, especially extensive exchanges and cooperation in various fields within the framework of BRI.
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan participated as a guest of honour in the China Eurasia Commodity and Trade Online Expo 2021. With Azerbaijan, other guests of honour were Belarus and Pakistan.
The Commercial Representative of the Embassy of Azerbaijan displayed more than 200 products from 25 Azerbaijani companies at the expo. According to Azertac, during the expo, there were to be a series of meetings between the two sides to discuss opportunities for the export of Azerbaijani food and agricultural products to Xinjiang.
According to Chinese media, the 2021 expo aimed “to establish a multinational trade platform, advance economic cooperation and achieve win-win results among BRI countries”.
Armenia’s Minister of Justice and Chinese Ambassador discuss collaboration
Fan Yong and Karen Andreasyan. Source: News.am
Armenia’s Minister of Justice Karen Andreasyan discussed with the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong the commitment to carry out radical reforms in the penitentiary and judicial spheres and the avenues for collaboration with the Chinese side, News.am reported on August 25.
The Chinese Ambassador expressed readiness to work together with the Ministry of Justice of Armenia and agreed with the Minister to continue their dialogue on the matters on their agenda.
Armenian Minister, Chinese Ambassador discuss cooperation opportunities in high-tech
Fan Yong and Vahagn Khachaturyan. Source: Armenpress
On August 24, the Armenian Minister of High Technological Industry Vahagn Khachaturyan received Ambassador of China to Armenia Fan Yong and his delegation, Armenpress reported.
The Minister noted that the development of bilateral cooperation was very important for Armenia. The Minister said that his Ministry was providing support to the private sector to develop in the high-tech industry, and said that Armenia must turn from an importing country to an exporting country in advanced technologies.
The Chinese Ambassador stated that the development of cooperation of the Armenian high-tech Ministry with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technologies was very promising.
Chinese producers to film Karabakh documentary
Photo from the visit. Source: Azernews
A Chinese company has started shooting a documentary on Karabakh, Azernews reported on August 26.
According to the report, the film crew travelled to Shusha, Zangilan, Fuzuli, and Agdam districts.
“Destroyed historical and architectural monuments, looted and ruined settlements, mined areas will be reflected in the film. At the same time, the film will provide information about the construction work carried out by the Azerbaijani state on the liberated territories after the 44-day war,” Azernews reported.
The documentary will be broadcast on China’s SETV channel and a number of social networking platforms.
Hong Kong and mainland China are among the largest exporters of mobile phones to Georgia
In the first seven months of 2021, Georgia purchased mobile phones worth $115.172 million, bpn.ge reported on August 27.
Hong Kong was the second-largest exporter of mobile phones to Georgia ($30.31 million), while mainland China was the fifth-largest one ($4.07 million).
Mainland China, Hong Kong are among the largest exporters of laptops to Georgia
In January-July 2021, Georgia purchased laptops worth $25.2 million, bpn.ge reported on August 26.
Mainland China was the largest exporter of laptops to Georgia ($9.2 million) while Hong Kong was the third-largest one ($3.1 million).
Georgian Confucius Institute Director wrote an essay, “China’s place in my life”
As part of an essay series about “China and China-Georgia relations through my eyes – the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the CCP”, the Director of the Confucius Institute at the Free University of Tbilisi and the President of the Georgian Association of Sinologists Marine Jibladze published an article in Georgian newspaper Kviris Palitra’s August 23-29 edition, entitled “China’s place in my life”.
While discussing Georgia-China relations, Marine Jibladze wrote that Georgia’s Free Trade Agreement with China meant access of Georgian products and services to the world’s largest market:
“The agreement also shows that bilateral cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative is close, and Georgia has one of the most important places [in it]”.
Writing about activities of Confucius Institute in Georgia, she noted that Confucius Institute had made a great contribution to raising awareness about China.
30.8.2021 – 5.9.2021
Armenia’s Minister of Defense and Chinese Ambassador discussed cooperation in the defense field
Fan Yong and Arshak Karapetyan. Source: Armradio
Armenia’s Minister of Defense Arshak Karapetyan met with China’s Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong, Armradio reported on August 30.
According to the report, the parties “praised” the Armenian-Chinese cooperation in political, economic, humanitarian, educational and other spheres. It said that the process of bilateral cooperation in the field of defense and future programs were also discussed.
During the meeting, the Defense Minister briefed the Ambassador on the regional situation and recent developments in Armenia’s border regions.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and Chinese Ambassador discussed BRI
Guo Min and Elnur Mammadov. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan
On September 2, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elnur Mammadov met with China’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min.
Mammadov wrote that they had discussed opportunities around the Belt and Road Initiative, prospects of Alat Free Economic Zone and the investments of Chinese companies in the regained territories of Azerbaijan. “A big journey ahead of us,” Mammadov noted.
“We must earnestly carry out the spirit of the call between the two heads of state, deepen China-Azerbaijan cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and make next year’s 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to promote quality, upgrade bilateral relations and better benefit the two peoples,” the Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan wrote.
China willing to continue to deepen cooperation with the Armenian Parliament
Aleksey Sandikov and Fan Yong. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Armenia
Member of National Assembly of Armenia from the Civil Contract faction Aleksey Sandikov met with Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong, the Chinese Embassy in Armenia reported on September 3.
“China is willing to continue to deepen cooperation with the Armenian Parliament, strengthen the exchange of visits of parliamentary friendship groups…” The Chinese Embassy wrote.
The Embassy wrote that the Civil Contract party he represents attached great importance to developing relations with China and looked forward to further strengthening party exchanges and cooperation with the Communist Party of China after the epidemic situation is stable.
The Chinese Embassy donated school supplies to the school children of the ethnically Russian villages Lermontovo and Fioletovo.
Georgian Ambassador to China participated in a Chinese think tank event
Archil Kalandia. Source: Newsday
On September 4, the Ambassador of Georgia to China, Archil Kalandia, participated in the forum organized by the China Center for Globalization 8th China Inbound-Outbound Forum 2021.
The Ambassadors to China from Georgia, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium were invited as guests of honour.
According to Newsday, Kalandia spoke about the growing dynamics of Georgian exports to the Chinese market and Georgia’s investment opportunities.
The head of Georgian Times wrote an article about China
The founder and president of Georgian Times media organization, Malkhaz Gulashvili, published an article in Georgian newspaper Kviris Palitra’s August 30 – September 5 edition, entitled “China and China-Georgia relations through my eyes – the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the CCP”.
Gulashvili wrote about his numerous visits to China since 2000. He also recollected his meetings with Xi Jinping and other officials.
“Two times I was lucky enough to have met China’s President Xi Jinping, one time I even shook his hand,” he remembered.
Gulashvili is happy about more intensified relations between China and Georgia: “The 21st century is the era of China’s flourishing and development, I wish my country to consider this”.
On China’s leadership, he wrote: “this is a group of honourable people that is based on Chinese patriotism, nationalism and socialism”.