|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 175th out of 180 countries)
News from July 19
Georgia’s European Socialists and the CCP have a lot in common, Chinese Ambassador says
Fridon Injia, Zhou Qian, David Zilfimiani. Source: European Socialists
On July 19, the Chairman of the parliamentary political group European Socialists Fridon Injia and member of the political group David Zilfimiani met with the Ambassador of China in Georgia Zhou Qian at the Embassy of China.
According to Fridon Injia, the Chinese Ambassador represents a country that is the leading state in the world with its socio-economic priorities for the population.
European Socialists said that the concept and main directions of European Socialists were in line with the concept of the ruling party of China, its political-economic course and “the main principles already implemented by the country’s government”. Injia emphasized on how important it was to share the experience of the ruling party of China in Georgia. At the meeting Injia also introduced the main aspects of the party’s concept to the Chinese Ambassador.
Zhou Qian noted that based on Fridon Injia’s speech, European Socialists had a lot in common with the Chinese Communist Party.
“The CCP is the ruling power in the Chinese state and the party has more than 90 million members, and we will be happy to lay the foundation for future cooperation with your party… The CCP is ready to cooperate with all parties based on the following 4 principles: independence and sovereignty, equality, mutual respect, and non-interference in domestic affairs,” the Ambassador said.
The prospects of cooperation between the CCP’s international department and European Socialists at the parliamentary level were also touched upon. Within the framework of this cooperation, the Ambassador did not rule out an official visit of European Socialists to China.
David Zilfimiani said that it was important for the Georgian society to know more about “the high culture” of China, “one of the leading countries in the world, which had achieved the greatest achievements and successes in the shortest period of time, with the correct economic, social and foreign policy of the ruling party”.
Zilfimiani added the following: “I am the deputy chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and also a member of the Education and Science Committee. Georgia has always been a country with a high scientific potential, which successfully implemented various important scientific projects and was one of the leaders in this regard, and today it still has the opportunity to do so. I would like to assure you that we will contribute as much as possible to the initiation of all those interesting issues and initiatives at the legislative level, which will affect the future relations between Georgia and China”.
He also said that it would be good for the Georgian public to receive more information about the achievements of China, its culture, sports, arts, and new technologies through mass information, which the team of European Socialists would gladly support within its capabilities.
25.07.2022 – 31.07.2022
Georgian Defense Minister and Chinese Ambassador discuss enhancement of defense cooperation
Zhou Qian/Juansher Burchuladze. Source: Agenda/Georgian Defense Ministry
On July 28, Agenda reported that the Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze and the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian held a meeting and discussed an enhancement of defense cooperation between Georgia and China.
Burchuladze expressed hope that “fruitful cooperation” between Georgia and China would continue in the future.
Reportedly, the meeting focused on “the prospects of cooperation in the field of military education and the current processes in the Black Sea region”.
Sironet Armenia NGO signs a pro-Beijing letter
On June 26, Chinese state media China Daily published a pro-Beijing letter addressed to the UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet. The letter has 924 signatories, of which most are Chinese organizations and some are foreign, including SIRONET Armenia NGO.
The letter says the following: “We believe that you saw with your own eyes that Xinjiang has enjoyed sustained economic development, social stability, improvement of people’s livelihood, cultural prosperity and religious harmony… We notice that for a period of time, certain anti-China forces, out of ulterior political motives, have publicly urged you to release the so-called assessment on Xinjiang, which is against the objective facts and confuses right and wrong…”
Signatories called on her and the OHCHR not to release “an assessment full of lies”.
In January-June 2022, China was Azerbaijan’s third-biggest import partner
In January-June 2022, China was Azerbaijan’s third biggest import partner with $942.4 million, Azernews reported on July 25.
Chinese Embassy representative discuss China-Azerbaijan military cooperation prospects
A photo from the event. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan
On July 29, the Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min and Defense Attaché, Senior Colonel Wang Lei held a reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan reported that nearly 140 people including top generals and officials of Azerbaijan, diplomatic missions, Defense Attachés in Azerbaijan, and news media representatives attended the event.
After discussing the PLA, Wang Lei talked about China-Azerbaijan relations. The Chinese Embassy wrote that over 30 years, smooth progress had been achieved in “friendly relations and practical cooperation between the Chinese and Azerbaijani militaries” paralleled with “ever-increasing cooperation in international and regional affairs”.
Wang Lei noted that under the strategic guidance and leadership of the CCP Chairman Xi Jinping and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and with the joint efforts of the Chinese and Azerbaijani militaries, “more fruitful achievements will be gained in high-level dialogue, strategic negotiation, and practical cooperation between the Chinese and Azerbaijani militaries”. According to the Embassy, further deepening “the friendly and cooperative relations” between the Chinese and Azerbaijani militaries is “in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries, will certainly bring benefits to both the Chinese and Azerbaijani people, and will be conducive to peace, stability, prosperity, and development both throughout the world and locally”.
Chinese side wishes to further deepen agricultural cooperation with Georgia
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia
On July 28, Georgian Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Otar Shamugia held a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian. The parties discussed “the importance of the 30-year cooperation” between Georgia and China and issues related to the Free trade Agreement.
According to Zhou Qian, Georgia has a great opportunity for agricultural development. The Ambassador emphasized the potential to achieve growth regarding the export of Georgian wine to the Chinese market. He noted that the Chinese side wished to further deepen agricultural cooperation between Georgia and China.
Shamugia thanked the Ambassador for the technical support provided by China in the fight against the Asian Stink Bug and for the projects implemented to improve irrigation infrastructure and develop greenhouses in Georgia.
University of Languages in Azerbaijan celebrates armed forces day of China and Azerbaijan
To celebrate the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the 104th anniversary of the founding of the Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces, Director of the Confucius Institute and senior Chinese language translator at the University of Languages in Azerbaijan Rafiq Abbasov gave a lecture on China’s military culture, Azertac reported on July 28.
He also talked about the development prospects of Azerbaijan’s military-political and military-technical cooperation with China.