|Author: Medea Ivaniadze|
China’s Activities in the South Caucasus
Issue 57, 11.07.2022 – 17.07.2022
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 175th out of 180 countries)
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Chinese and Georgian representatives discuss cooperation between legislative organs
An online meeting of Wang Chen with Georgia’s ruling party Georgian Dream members, Giorgi Amilakhvari, Giorgi Volski and Giorgi Khelashvili. Source: Xinhua
The Vice Chairman of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Wang Chen held an online meeting with the First Deputy Chairman of the parliament of Georgia Giorgi Volski, Xinhua reported on July 12.
Wang pointed out that this year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Georgia.
According to Wang Chen, the NPC of China is willing to strengthen exchanges and mutual learning with the Georgian parliament and make legislative contributions to deepening practical cooperation, strengthening solidarity in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, and enhancing people-to-people exchanges. He added that it would also promote the implementation of China’s Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and would “facilitate the sustained, sound, and stable development of bilateral relations”.
Volski said the Georgian parliament would like to strengthen cooperation with the NPC of China and “play a positive role in promoting the development of bilateral relations”.
Chinese Ambassador met with Georgia’s ruling party Chairman
Zhou Qian presents Xi Jinping’s book to Irakli Kobakhidze. Source: The Embassy of China in Georgia
On July 12, the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian visited Georgia’s ruling party Georgian Dream Chairman and Georgian MP Irakli Kobakhide. Reportedly, the two sides exchanged views on deepening bilateral cooperation, and the exchange and cooperation between the two ruling parties. After the meeting, the Ambassador presented three volumes of Xi Jinping’s “The Governance of China” to Kobakhidze.
Georgian Economy Minister and Chinese Ambassador discussed cooperation
The Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia and the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili held a meeting with the Ambassador of China Zhou Qian, Georgian Ministry of Economy reported on July 15.
Bilateral economic ties were discussed at the meeting and special emphasis was placed on bilateral trade and cooperation in the direction of transport and logistics.
It was noted that Georgia was actively modernizing and building its own transport-logistics infrastructure to be able to perform the function of the transport corridor between Europe and Asia more effectively.
The Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Genadi Arveladze, and the Head of Trade Development and International Economic Relations Department of Georgia, Tarash Papaskua also attended the meeting.
“We will make Baku Port center of the Silk Road” – Albayrak Group head says
The head of Turkish Albayrak Group Ahmet Albayrak said that they would make Baku Port a center of the Silk Road, Apa reported on July 15.
He said that the main goal of the new cooperation agreement was to create the most comfortable and stable conditions for cargo carriers in the field of logistics and supply chain, and “to achieve an increase in the volume of cargo transported from China and Central Asian countries to Europe, and at the same time to Turkiye, transiting through Azerbaijan via Baku Port within short time. It means we will revive the Silk Road again”.
He noted that joint work had been conducted with the Baku Sea Port regarding the cooperation for 3-4 months and that day the cooperation was formalized.
According to the July 15 Apa report, Director-General of Baku International Sea Trade Port CJSC Taleh Ziyadov and head of Albayrak Group Ahmet Albayrak signed an agreement. According to it, the two sides will closely cooperate in fields of improvement of technical opportunities of Baku Port, involvement of more cargo, as well as unloading of cargoes operatively etc.
TV24 Deputy Director spreads Chinese propaganda in a Georgian university
Badri Natchkebia. Source: Screenshot/TV24
The Deputy Director of TV24 Badri Natchkebia delivered a lecture at the European University in Georgia entitled “China’s fight against terrorism”, the Youtube page of TV24 reported on July 11.
“Today the subject of our video lecture is the situation in Xinjiang,” He addressed the attendees and noted that they may not know about Xinjiang or know about the region “in a slightly negative way”.
Natchkebia said he was also a professor and since 2016, he had cooperation with Chinese high educational institutes, including a university in Xinjiang. He also claimed that he was an expert on terrorism.
He implied that from the year 2017 the terrorism problem had been solved by China, and that “today the province of Xinjiang is one of the most developed in China”.
During his speech, Natchkebia also claimed that the Chinese government paid special attention to the development of religious minorities.
After his lecture, he presented the video by Chinese state media CCTV about “China’s fight against terrorism”.
Reportedly, the European University is a higher education institution “based on European values”.
This is not the first time Natchkebia expressed a pro-Beijing narrative about Xinjiang.
Chinese Embassy is willing to actively cooperate with Armenia’s Ararat region
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Armenia
On July 12, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong visited Armenia’s Ararat region, where he met with Governor Sedrak Tevonyan, the Mayor of the administrative center of Artashat Karlen Mkrtchyan, and others.
The Chinese Embassy in Armenia reported that it was ready to act as a liaison to “actively promote practical cooperation” between the Ararat region and China in various fields and intensify local exchanges to help deepen bilateral relations.
Reportedly, Tevonyan “warmly welcomed” Ambassador Fan Yong and “highly appreciated” the development and achievements of bilateral relations over 30 years.
Chinese state media continues targeting Georgia’s 2003 democratic Rose Revolution
On July 15, the Chinese state media outlet China News published another piece of propaganda entitled “American politicians who participated in foreign coups planning should be punished according to the law”. The article also discussed Georgia’s 2003 democratic revolution: “The National Endowment for Democracy, known as the ‘Second CIA’, is inseparable from a series of events such as Georgia’s ‘Rose Revolution, Ukraine’s ‘Orange Revolution, and the ‘Arab Spring’ and is a habitual offender of turmoil in other countries”.