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)
- Armenia considers development of “multifaceted cooperation” with China as one of its foreign policy priorities
- Xi Jinping attaches “great importance” to China-Armenia ties
- China’s state media discuss the democratic revolution in Georgia
- In January-February 2022, Armenia’s trade with China grew by 48%
- China “hopes” for continued ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia
- China has no doubts about the future of Armenian-Chinese relations
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Armenia considers development of “multifaceted cooperation” with China as one of its foreign policy priorities
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and China, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent congratulatory messages to the CCP’s Chairman Xi Jinping and the Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang, Armenpress reported on April 6.
The Armenian President said that the Government of Armenia attached great importance to the Armenian-Chinese relations, and considered the development of multifaceted cooperation with China as one of its foreign policy priorities.
Pashinyan wrote to Xi that the Armenian-Chinese “friendly relations” had a rich history and were distinguished by mutual trust and great respect. He noted that a high-level political dialogue had been maintained between the two countries and the partnership over international and regional issues, including on the multilateral platforms, had been strengthened. Pashinyan expressed readiness to make efforts with China’s leader to achieve “new success in future-oriented Armenian-Chinese relations”.
He also expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Chinese Government to the development of Armenia over the years, including during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pashinyan wrote to Li Keqiang that one of the important components of Armenian-Chinese relations was economic cooperation, in which Armenia was committed “to maximally expanding, embracing new and promising programs of mutual interest”. In this regard, Armenia’s President noted that his country attached importance to Armenia’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, which according to him created “new development opportunities for the region”.
Xi Jinping attaches “great importance” to China-Armenia ties
The CCP’s leader Xi Jinping and Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan exchanged congratulatory messages to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Chinese media outlet ECNS reported on April 7.
Xi Jinping said that the two countries deepened their political mutual trust and pointed out that bilateral cooperation in various fields progressed steadily. Xi emphasized that he attached great importance to China-Armenia ties and expressed hope to work with Khachaturyan to take the anniversary as an opportunity to promote more outcomes from bilateral ties and cooperation.
Khachaturyan noted that Armenia attached great importance to China’s development and the role it played in the international community. He also expressed hope to work with Xi to accomplish “the lasting and steady development” of bilateral ties.
China’s state media discuss the democratic revolution in Georgia
Chinese propagandist cartoon. Source: Global Times
China’s state media continues to discuss the 2003 democratic revolution in Georgia. On April 5, an article entitled “Cold War schemer: Reminiscing in its past ‘victory,’ US brings color revolutions to 21st century to maintain its hegemony” was published by Chinese state media outlet Global Times.
“In the 21st century, the US still wields its ideological “soft knife,” playing up its color revolution intrigues under the disguise of “democratic values” to countries such as Ukraine, Georgia and Tunisia, which only brought about three instances of political turmoil, mass impoverishment and war,” the article said.
In January-February 2022, Armenia’s trade with China grew by 48%
On April 6, Massispost reported that in January-February 2022 compared to the first two months of 2021, Armenia’s trade with China grew by 48% and amounted to about $206.8 million. The report also said that Armenia’s exports to China grew by 7.2% to about $58.5 million, while imports from China totaled $92.9 million, up 78.8%.
China has no doubts about the future of Armenian-Chinese relations
Fan Yong. Source: Armenpress
On April 8, Armenpress reported that at the conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Armenian-Chinese diplomatic relations, Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong said that Armenia and China were strategic partners. Looking at the prospects for the next 30 years of the Armenian-Chinese relations, Fan Yong said that both countries were very calm and very confident in this regard.
“We have no doubt about that, because we have the strong will of both sides to develop our future well, we have the aspiration of our leaders for better development, we have peoples who are friends, we have no problem in politics, we do not have any problems or disagreements regarding the development of the economy. I want to say that our relations are mutually beneficial, we are useful to each other”.
The Ambassador also noted that in recent years there had been an increase in Chinese investments in Armenia – “As you can see, the buses, all that innovative equipment came from China. At the moment, Chinese factories are investing in Armenia’s infrastructure, especially in the field of solar energy”.
He also noted that on April 6, when Yerevan and Beijing were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and China, Armenia’s President Vahagn Khachaturyan’s visit to the new Chinese Embassy in Yerevan showed “the great importance” that the two sides attached to the development of bilateral relations.
“We highly appreciate the step of the Armenian President,” the Ambassador added.
Development of friendly relations with China is one of the priorities of Armenia’s external relations, Armenian Ambassador says
Sergey Manasaryan. Source: CGTN
On April 6, the Chinese state media agency CGTN published an article by the Armenian Ambassador to China Sergey Manasaryan entitled “30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Armenia and China”.
The Ambassador wrote that the development of friendly relations with China was one of the priorities of Armenia’s external relations.
“A high-level political dialogue, close inter-parliamentary ties have been established, and interaction between the different institutions of Armenia and China is carried out in almost all areas of political, economic and cultural life, indicating a high degree of mutual interest,” he noted.
On the Belt and Road Initiative, the Ambassador said that the opportunities for diverse cooperation within the framework of this initiative had a particular place in Armenia’s agenda and were of “great interest” to Armenia.
While discussing various topics in Armenia-China relations he noted that China’s technical and economic assistance had helped Armenia modernize such areas as public transport, healthcare, education, television, agriculture and other areas.
China “hopes” for continued ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia
On April 7 Beijing Daily journalist asked Chinese MFA Speaker Zhao Lijian about the preparation of the Azerbaijan-Armenia peace treaty and convening a Joint Border Commission to delimit the border between them. Zhao Lijian answered that Azerbaijan and Armenia were “China’s friendly cooperative partners” and they were glad to see the two sides “resolving differences and disagreements through dialogue and consultation”.
“It is our sincere hope that both sides will implement the ceasefire consensus to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region and tranquility for the people,” he added.
Armenia-China forum held in Yerevan
Photo from the forum. Source: China-Eurasia Council
On April 8, China-Eurasia Council held the First Armenia and China Forum in Yerevan dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The conference was organized by the China-Eurasia Council for Political and Strategic Research in partnership with the World Socialism Institute, Renmin University of China and it was supported by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Armenia.
Officials and other representatives delivered their speeches at the forum. Among them was China’s Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong, who in his speech emphasized the importance of developing relations with Armenia in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Former Prime Minister of Armenia Armen Darbinyan expressed hope that Armenia would be able to regain the mediator’s role between different players in Eastern and Western parts of Eurasia with the help of developing infrastructure. He also noted that as the Rector of the Russian-Armenian University he attached great importance to the development of Chinese studies at the university, where many students studied the Chinese language.
Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Armenia Artur Martirosyan presented existing programs of the Armenian-Chinese cooperation, which included student exchange programs, and cooperation in educational, scientific and technical spheres.
“What is the secret of Chinese-Armenian friendly cooperation? The code of luck is the relentless pursuit of the common values of all mankind, these are peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom,” the General Secretary of the Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Commission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Wei Zheng said.
A conference on Armenia-China relations was held
Photo from the conference. Source: www.aravot-en.am
On April 7, an Armenian news agency reported that Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia Mnatsakan Safaryan delivered opening remarks at the online conference entitled “30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Armenia-China Diplomatic Relations: Achievements and Prospects”, organized by the Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia, Embassy of Armenia in China, and the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Reportedly, Li Hui, Special Representative of China’s Government for Eurasian Affairs, Ashot Saghyan, President of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Zhao Qi, Secretary-General of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Sergey Manasaryan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the People’s Republic of China, Fan Yong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Armenia, Zheng Wei, Secretary-General of the Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Commission of Shanghai Cooperation Organization delivered speeches at the opening session of the conference.
Confucius Institute in Azerbaijan held a cultural event
On April 7, the Confucius Institute at the University of Languages of Azerbaijan held a workshop for students on Chinese Poster Art, Azertac reported.