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)

  • China joins Russia in opposition to further enlargement of NATO
  • Transport connectivity on the China-Europe route to expand
  • 29% of Armenians consider China their main economic partner – IRI’s Survey
  • Aliyev is confident that cooperation with China will develop successfully
  • Armenia attaches great importance to strengthening and deepening cooperation with China, says Pashinyan
  • Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister praises Azerbaijani-Chinese ties, Xi Jinping’s ideas


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China and Russia oppose further enlargement of NATO, democratic revolutions

At the invitation of CCP’s Chairman Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited China on 4 February 2022. The two attended the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, held talks, and issued a joint statement on “the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development“.

According to the statement, Russia and China “oppose further enlargement of NATO“, and call the organization to “abandon its ideologized Cold War approaches“.

The two sides also said that they opposed “color revolutions“:

“​​Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose color revolutions, and will increase cooperation in the aforementioned areas“.


Transport connectivity on China-Europe route to expand

Source: Azertac

Two vessels are to begin operations on the route of Baku-Turkmenbashi-Baku in 2022 to increase transport connectivity on the segment of the second China-Europe route across the Caspian Sea, ADY Container has reported.

Azernews wrote in a February 1 report that this step aimed to further develop the Asia-Pacific region-China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey-Europe transport route, which had been established in 2019 with the participation of the respective countries’ state railways. Turkey joined this route in December 2021.

The report also said that currently, container cargo on this route was transported from Turkey via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, as well as from the Georgian ports of Poti and Batumi to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, and vice versa.

It was also noted that compared to 2020, the volume of freight transported through the route increased in 2021 by 101%.


Armenia attaches great importance to strengthening and deepening cooperation with China, Pashinyan says

On February 1, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan sent congratulatory messages to the CCP’s Chairman Xi Jinping and the Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang on the occasion of “the Chinese New Year, Spring Festival“.

Pashinyan wrote in his letters to the two Chinese leaders that Armenia attached great importance to “the continuous strengthening and deepening of traditional friendly relations“, and “multifaceted cooperation“ with China based on “mutual trust and mutual benefit“.


Aliyev is confident that cooperation with China will develop successfully

On December 31, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev sent a congratulatory letter to CCP’s Chairman Xi Jinping as China celebrated the Spring Festival.

“The present level and dynamics of the friendly relations between Azerbaijan and China are gratifying,“ Aliyev wrote, and noted that he was confident that through their joint efforts, “the mutually beneficial cooperation“ between the two countries in politics, economy, trade, energy, industry and other domains would continue “to develop successfully“.

“I wish success to the People’s Republic of China in holding the Beijing Olympic Winter Games and express my firm belief that this international competition will be a grand sporting celebration,“ President Ilham Aliyev added.


Azerbaijani Minister attends the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Farid Gaibov. Source: Report

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports Farid Gaibov planned to visit China in connection with the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, Report wrote on February 5.

According to the Ministry’s speaker Gabil Mehdiyev, the Minister was to watch the performances of Azerbaijani representatives at the Beijing Winter Olympics.


29% of Armenians consider China their main economic partner – IRI’s Survey

According to a survey published by International Republican Institute (IRI) Institute in Armenia on January 31, 29% of Armenians consider China to be their main economic partner.

On the question of how they would evaluate the current state of the relationship between Armenia and China, 18% answered that it was very good, 57% considered the relationship good, 9% – bad, 4% – very bad, and 12% said they didn’t know or refused to answer.

Answering the question, relationship with which two countries needed to be improved for the development of Armenia, 15% named China.

On IRI’s question, which two countries do they consider to be the most important political partners for Armenia, 5% answered that it was China.

On the question, which two countries do they consider to be the most important security partners for Armenia, 4% named China.

Only 1% of the respondents thought that China was the greatest economic threat to Armenia (an answer to the question “which two countries are the greatest economic threat to Armenia?“).

Lastly, just 2% of Armenians would like China to assist Armenia in defending its borders.

The data was collected throughout Armenia between November 22 and December 5, 2021. The sample consisted of 1512 permanent residents of Armenia over the age of 18.


Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister praises Azerbaijani-Chinese ties, Xi Jinping’s ideas

On February 2, Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov gave an interview to a Chinese state media outlet Xinhua where he discussed Azerbaijani-Chinese ties, China’s governance and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

On Azerbaijani-Chinese relations, Ahmadov said the two countries enjoyed close friendly ties.

“Our relations are characterized by a comprehensive political dialogue, mutually fruitful economic cooperation, and active involvement in the implementation of the global Belt & Road project,“ he said.

Ahmadov described “the intensive political dialogue“ between the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and the Communist Party of China as a key component of “the Azerbaijani-Chinese friendship”.

“I am convinced that the strong partnership bonds between the two ruling parties accumulate a vast potential for mutually beneficial cooperation between Azerbaijan and China,“ he said.

Ahmadov also praised China’s “achievements and its leading global role“:

“Undoubtedly, China is experiencing the best times of its history. Economic prosperity and speedy technological development have made the country a global leader. It is not only the second economy in the world but also a leader in many areas of modern technological progress“.

Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister said with “great confidence“ that China has been an “excellent example“ of social, political and economic transformation in the world in recent decades.

“The transformation of China is a global project that has affected the lives of the whole world. In other words, the modern global transformation cannot be imagined without the profound changes that are taking place in China,“ said Ahmadov.

He also “spoke highly” of the CCP’s Chairman Xi Jinping’s ideas and initiatives regarding the “restructuring of international relations, the implementation of global economic and transport projects“.

“President Xi Jinping’s idea of creating a community of a common future for mankind, provides, first of all, the creation of a community of a harmonious society on the planet,“ said Ahmadov and stressed that this concept put China’s vision for the transformation of the world.

According to Ahmadov, although the Olympic Games are being held in difficult conditions amid the pandemic, they “are excellently organized both in sports and social terms, as well as in terms of sanitary measures“.

On hosting the Olympics the second time he said that it characterized China as “a great sporting nation, at the same time, highlighting its growing international role“.


Armenian Ministry of Economy calls businesses interested in the Chinese market to register for opportunities

Armenia’s Ministry of Economy collects data of Armenian companies interested in cooperating with the Chinese market “for new opportunities“, Armenpress reported on February 4.

The Ministry of Economy called on interested companies capable of ensuring large industrial volumes in the areas of industry, agriculture, food (juice production, dairy products, dried fruits, fruit jam, canned foods, alcohol, water and others) to fill the relevant form.


Armenian Ambassador to China wished Beijing Olympics “every success“

Sergey Manassarian. Source: China Daily

Armenian Ambassador to China Sergey Manassarian once again commented on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in a video speech published by Chinese state media China Daily on February 3:

“I would like to wish every success to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. I also express my warmest wishes on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, Spring Festival“.


Armenian scholar praises China for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony

A material entitled “Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony shows China’s determination, boosts world’s confidence to tackle challenges, say experts“ was published by Chinese state media outlet Xinhua.

One of the “experts“, the Chairman of the Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies in Yerevan, Benyamin Poghosyan, said that Beijing provided “a grand and incredible“ Winter Olympics opening ceremony for the whole world.

“It is a genuine successful opening ceremony both athletically and culturally, which provides an excellent opportunity for the world to unite and make efforts towards the shared future,“ he told Xinhua on February 4. Poghosyan stressed that despite all obstacles, China, by offering such a magnificent opening ceremony, has proved its ability to unite humanity around shared values.


Azerbaijani Ambassador to China once again commented on the Beijing 2022 Olympics

Akram Zeynalli. Source: China Daily

Azerbaijani Ambassador to China Akram Zeynalli once again commented on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

“I wish you a happy and prosperous new year and a successful Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics,“ Zeynalli said in a video speech published by Chinese state media China Daily on February 1.


Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee deputy chief speaks against the Beijing Winter Olympics boycott

On February 1, Vice-President of Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee Chingiz Huseynzade gave an interview to China Youth Daily.

“I think that sport is not politics, politics should not have to interfere with sports, I do not understand boycott… I think it is not fair“ he said about the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Regarding the 2008 Beijing Olympics Huseynzade commented that it was one of the best Olympics and he believed that this time Beijing would also hold “very good Olympic games“.


The Confucius Institute in Azerbaijan held a seminar on China’s sports history

The Confucius Institute at the Azerbaijan University of Languages held an online seminar for students about China’s sports history, Azertac reported on February 4.