|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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4.10.2021 – 10.10.2021
Georgian Railway Director: There is a sharp increase in container shipments from China to Georgia and Europe
Natia Turnava, David Peradze and others at the event. Source: Georgian Railway
At the 12th Transport and Communication Forum, delegations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan discussed the issues concerning challenges and opportunities of the so-called Middle Corridor which connects Europe and Asia.
On October 7, Georgian Railway reported that its General Director David Peradze said that there had been a sharp increase in container shipments in the Middle Corridor from China to Georgia and Europe.
According to him, the Middle Corridor is the shortest route for container shipping from China to Europe and from Europe to China.
He said that the sides discussed plans for the development of the Middle Corridor and attracting more cargo.
The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava led the Georgian side.
Georgian Railway reported that, in January-August 2021, in the Trans-Caspian Corridor, container rail shipments with China increased by 268%, compared to the same period last year.
Azerbaijan says reconstruction of railway corridors in Karabakh provides the shortest route from Western China to Turkey’s Mersin port
Azerbaijan Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Rashad Nabiyev attended the 12th Transport and Communication Forum, Azertac reported on October 7.
Regarding the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway it was stressed that the railroad, with a freight capacity of 6.5 million tons per year, allowed “reducing transit times between China and Southeast Europe by 70 percent”.
“Azerbaijan has begun the massive restoration of Karabakh, liberated from the Armenian occupation. The restoration of transport infrastructure and the reconstruction of railway corridors will not only expand the integration of the railway network in the South Caucasus but also provide the shortest route from Western China to the Mersin port of Turkey,” said Nabiyev.
Georgian Envoy: BRI gave Georgia the opportunity to be actively involved in international trade
David Pipinashvili and others near the Georgian Pavilion. Source: The Embassy of Georgia to China
From October 7 to October 10, the Envoy of the Embassy of Georgia to China, David Pipinashvili, visited cities Pingdingshan and Zhengzhou in Henan, China. On October 8 and 9, in Pingdingshan, David Pipinashvili participated in the First International Conference on Alcohol Drinks Consumption and Innovation.
David Pipinashvili addressed the participants and said that the Belt and Road Initiative gave Georgia the opportunity to make more efficient use of its transport-transit and logistics capabilities and to be actively involved in international trade.
Representatives of the Pingdingshan Municipal Government and the diplomatic corps attended the conference. According to the report of the Georgian Embassy in China, working meetings were held with Zhang Leiming, Secretary of the CPC Pingdingshan Municipal Committee, and with Liu Wenhai, Vice Mayor of the Pingdingshan Municipal Government.
At the forum, a commercial cooperation agreement was signed between Henan Baofeng Wine Co., Ltd and Georgia Selections Co., Ltd, which, among other issues, envisages the promotion of Georgian wine brands at the Chinese market.
On October 10, in Zhengzhou, David Pipinashvili attended the opening ceremony of the Georgian Pavilion and the Georgian Culture Promotion Center that had been established with the efforts of Chinese companies Zhejiang Keweili Wine Industry Co., Ltd and Seven Wang Co., Ltd, and with the support of the Georgian Embassy.
In January-September 2021, China was fourth biggest market for Georgian wine exports
In January-September 2021, China was among the top five countries for Georgian wine exports (Russia, Ukraine, Poland, China and Kazakhstan), Interpressnews reported on October 8. During this period, Georgia exported 72.5 million bottles of wine to 60 countries.
Confucius Institute in Azerbaijan held a seminar about China’s acrobatics
On October 8, Confucius Institute at Azerbaijan University of Languages held an online seminar about Chinese acrobatics with the theme of “Chinese Art Legacy”, Azertac reported.
11.10.2021 – 17.10.2021
China’s Ministry of Public Security Department and Georgian Embassy agreed on coordinated work
Representatives of the Ministry of Public Security of China with Archil Kalandia and Shota Abuladze. Source: Georgian Embassy to China
Georgian Ambassador to China Archil Kalandia met with the heads of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Public Security of China, Georgian Embassy to China reported on October 14.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of bilateral cooperation and agreed on coordinated work.
Armenian Defence Minister highly assesses the level of cooperation between the Ministries of Defence of Armenia and China
Sun Jilun and Arshak Karapetyan. Source: Ministry of Defence of Armenia
On October 15, the Armenian Minister of Defence Arshak Karapetyan received the Military Attaché of the Embassy of China in Armenia, Senior Colonel Sun Jilun.
The Minister “highly assessed” the level of current cooperation between the Ministries of Defence of the two countries.
The parties discussed the process and prospects of bilateral cooperation in the defense sphere.
Former US official: Biden administration needs to pay more attention to Georgia to head off a potential tilt toward Russia as well as China
On October 17, the US Ministry of Defence announced that the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin would visit Georgia.
France 24 report about Austin’s visit included a comment from former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, David Kramer. According to Kramer, the Biden administration needs to pay more attention to Georgia “to head off a potential tilt toward Russia as well as China”.
South Caucasus countries’ representatives attended the China-Central Asia Women’s Development Forum
Photo from the forum. Source: www.qinan.gov.cn
On October 16, the China-Central Asia Women’s Development Forum with the theme of Gathering Women’s Power to Build the Belt and Road Initiative was held in Lanzhou.
The Armenian Ambassador to China Sergey Manasaryan delivered a speech, and representatives from other participating countries, including Azerbaijan and Georgia, also delivered video speeches.
Shen Yueyue, the President of the All-China Women’s Federation and a Vice-Chairwoman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, attended the forum and delivered a speech.
Azerbaijani pavilion opened in Ancient Settlements Culture Park in China
Pavilion of Azerbaijan at the Chinese Ancient Settlements Culture Park. Source: Trend
A pavilion “Window to Azerbaijani culture” was opened in the Ancient Settlements Culture Park in Bengbu, China. The pavilion had been established by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
According to a Trend report, the pavilion includes carpets and rugs, samples of art made of copper, ornaments, national costumes, and musical instruments, as well as publications of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on the Azerbaijani culture, history, and the modern development of Azerbaijan.
On October 11, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Wang Chen, leaders of Anhui Province and Bengbu city, Azerbaijani Ambassador to China Akram Zeynalli, and representatives of the diplomatic corps in China visited the Azerbaijani pavilion.
The report says that according to the agreement, the Azerbaijani pavilion will operate on a long-term basis in the Ancient Settlements Culture Park which, according to the report, is one of the largest tourism projects in China.
Azerbaijan and China discuss prospects of cooperation on food security
Photo from the meeting. Source: Azernews
Delegations of Azerbaijan’s Food Safety Agency and China’s General Administration of Customs Food Import and Export Bureau discussed the prospects of cooperation in the “food security, animal and plant health” field, Azernews reported on October 13.
According to the report, the parties focused on the import and export of food products and food security from Azerbaijan to China, as well as export potential of products under veterinary and phytosanitary control.
They also discussed mutual exchange of experience in relevant areas.
Azerbaijan participates as “Guest of Honour” at China’s Taihu World Cultural Forum
Photo from the event. Source: Azertac
On October 12, the 6th annual conference of the Taihu World Cultural Forum started in Bengbu, China where Azerbaijan was the first “Guest of Honour Country”. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation was also among the organizers of the Forum.
At the opening ceremony, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Anar Alakbarov presented a video message of congratulation from Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
“The prestige of this international event, held under the auspices of the People’s Republic of China, is growing every year. Bringing together prominent politicians, scholars, and creative intellectuals from around the world, the Taihu World Cultural Forum makes a significant contribution to intercultural dialogue,” he said.
According to the Azertac report, the forum offered a platform to promote dialogue and exchanges between different cultures, and its motto was “Mutual learning among civilizations: Building a community of shared future for humanity”.
The report said that some 500 delegates from more than 30 countries and regions gathered online and offline to discuss cultural diversity, the Belt and Road Initiative, pandemic prevention and control, and poverty alleviation.
Azerbaijan participated in the opening ceremony of the China Import and Export Fair
Yusif Abdulaev attends the event. Source: Azertac
On October 15, the opening ceremony of the 130th Canton Fair – China Import and Export Fair was held online. The acting Chairman of the Azerbaijan Export Promotion and Investment Foundation Yusif Abdulaev attended the event.