|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 October 26
New study program of the Confucius class started at Kutaisi University as part of the cooperation with China’s Xinjiang Medical University
A photo from the opening ceremony. Source: UNIK
A new study program of the Confucius class started at the Kutaisi University (UNIK), the University reported on October 26.
The report said that the new study program of the Confucius class was one of the stages of the framework of the memorandum of cooperation signed between the Kutaisi University and the Xinjiang Medical University, which, with the teaching of the Chinese language, involved introducing Chinese culture to the audience of the Confucius class.
The Kutaisi University report said that the main function of the Confucius class in Kutaisi was to organize activities relevant to international exchange programs and cooperation and to promote cultural relations between Georgia and China.
The Rector of Kutaisi University, Professor Gocha Tutberidze, congratulated the students on the first lesson and the opening of the new educational program.
Reportedly, students, academic and administrative staff of the Kutaisi University, as well as any interested person, can take the Confucius class course and receive a relevant certificate.
According to the Kutaisi University April 27 report, the first meeting of the council between the Kutaisi University and the Xinjiang Medical University was held. The UNIK report said that the Confucius School had started a free Chinese language course for students, academic and administrative staff of the Kutaisi University in April. According to the August 16 post on the Confucius Classroom Facebook account, the certificate of authorization between the Xinjiang Medical University and the Kutaisi University to cooperate to develop the Confucius Classroom at the Kutaisi University is valid from December 11, 2020 to December 10, 2025.
14.11.2022 – 20.11.2022
Chinese Ambassador to Georgia presented CCP’s National Congress results to Georgians
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Georgia
The Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian spoke about results of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Interpressnews reported on November 18. According to the Chinese Embassy report, 30 people from Georgian think tanks, academia, political parties and media attended the meeting.
“I welcome the Chairman and members of the European Socialists party, the President of the Sinologist’s Association of Georgia, Ms. Marine Jibladze, respected journalists, and the attending public!” according to the Interpressnews report, the Ambassador said at the beginning of his speech.
He said that the General Secretary of the CCP Xi Jinping presented “an important report at the Congress” and he expressed his willingness to introduce them to its main content.
According to the Interpressnews report, the Ambassador mentioned in his speech that China respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, “including Georgia”. This was not mentioned in the report shared by the Chinese Embassy in Georgia.
At the end of his speech, the Chinese Ambassador said that China was ready to share “the big experience accumulated in terms of state governance and modernization with Georgia”.
“We will facilitate the friendship and cooperation between the two countries to move to a new level,” he said.
The Chinese Embassy report also said that the Chinese side welcomed Georgia to participate in the cooperation of the Global Development Initiative and “become a beneficiary of the cooperation as early as possible so that China-Georgia cooperation can better benefit the two countries’ peoples”.
According to the Embassy, the participants “highly praised the importance” of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and “China’s contribution to world peace and development”.
“They expressed more confidence in the future of China-Georgia relations, enthusiastically receiving the Embassy-provided English edition report of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the fourth volume of Xi Jinping’s book, The Governance of China, and the collection of diplomatic speeches of Xi Jinping,” the Chinese Embassy report said.
It’s noteworthy that according to the Interpressnews report, in his speech the Ambassador criticized the West: “The word ‘modernization’ comes from the West, and at one time it was associated with the ‘Western way’, but it is a mistake to think of it as ‘exclusive of the West’. In the last few decades, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America adopted the Western model, introducing liberal economics and democratic elections, but they have suffered a double failure – political and economic… China always believed that modernization does not necessarily mean acceptance of the Western model without a word. Only modernization according to one’s national conditions can be correct…”
Zhou Qian elaborated that Chinese-style modernization was “socialist modernization” claiming: “It is the modernization of a large population, prosperity for everyone, material and spiritual development, harmony between man and nature and peaceful development”. He said that Chinese-style modernization was different from Western-style modernization and once again criticized the West and claimed the following: “It rejects the old way of modernization of Western countries, which was based on foreign expansion, exploitation of colonies and slave trade”.
The Ambassador said in his speech that “Chinese-style modernization would help create a ‘society with a shared future and a new form of human civilization”. He also claimed that “freedom, democracy, and human rights” were the common aspirations of humanity “and the Chinese Communist Party”.
Chinese Ambassador meets with Armenia’s Human Rights Defender
A photo from the meeting. Source: Human Rights Defender of Armenia
On November 17, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, Kristinne Grigoryan, received the Ambassador of China to Armenia, Fan Yong, Human Rights Defender of Armenia reported.
Reportedly, Fan Yong expressed gratitude for the meeting and highlighted activities carried out by the Human Rights Defender. “The parties exchanged thoughts, emphasizing on both sides the importance of the exchange of experience and learning from each other,” the report said.
Grigoryan said that it was important for the Office of the Human Rights Defender to cooperate “with any partner institution of other states”. The Defender noted that Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Institution had a high reputation in the society. Reportedly, “the Defender presented the mandate of the Institution, as well as the activities carried out in the field of human rights protection”.
According to the report, the Chinese Ambassador presented how the issues of human rights were “guaranteed and protected at the state level in the People’s Republic of China”.
The parties also discussed the possibilities of further cooperation.
Zangezur corridor to reduce time of cargo transshipment from China to Europe, Port of Baku representative says
The launch of the Zangezur corridor would reduce the time for cargo transshipment from China to Europe to two weeks, according to November 14 Trend report, the Head of the Strategic Planning and Development Department at the Baku International Sea Trade Port (Port of Baku) Khudayar Hasanli said.
According to the APA report, he also said that the opening of the Zangezur corridor would allow arriving cargos by sea from China to Azerbaijan and countries in the region “to reach a fortnight earlier”.
“If cargos are transported via Zangezur corridor through Turkiye’s Mersin port, this will be twofold cheap. At the same time, the absence of a border cross point will affect time and cost,” he added.
The first China-Europe freight train service linking Mianyang, China and Tbilisi, Georgia launched
Source: People’s Daily/Twitter
On November 18, the Chinese state-controlled People’s Daily reported that on November 17, a freight train loaded with 50 containers of goods left Mianyang, Sichuan province, “marking the launch of the first China-Europe freight train service linking Mianyang and Tbilisi, Georgia”.
Reportedly, the train is expected to arrive at its destination in 18 days.
Chinese Ambassador visits Armenia’s Tavush province
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Chinese Ambassador to Armenia
On November 15-16, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong visited Armenia’s Tavush province. The Ambassador met with the Governor, Hayk Ghalumyan, and also the Mayors of the provincial capital, Ijevan, the city of Dilijan, and other cities, Fan Yong reported.