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) 

  • Chinese Ambassador and Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs discuss “the importance of strengthening cooperation in the law enforcement field”
  • Chinese Ambassador attended the opening of the Chinese Teaching Center in Azerbaijan
  • Chinese Ambassador met with Armenia’s National Agenda Party representatives
  • Huawei opened ICT Academy at Baku Higher Oil School


News from November 9

Chinese Ambassador met with Armenia’s National Agenda Party representatives

A photo from the meeting. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Armenia

On November 9, the Chinese Ambassador Fan Yong met with the Chairman of Armenia’s National Agenda Party Ara Hakobyan and the party’s Executive Secretary Ara Gasparyan. They discussed the issues of “friendly cooperation” between China and Armenia, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia wrote.

According to the Chinese Embassy report, the Armenian side is willing to further strengthen contact and ties with Chinese partners, and “to make great efforts to push forward the continuous development of bilateral relations to benefit both countries and peoples”.

The Embassy report also said that the Chinese Communist Party was “ready to strengthen mutual training with political parties and organizations of friendly countries of the world, jointly defend international justice, peace, and stability in the region and promote the construction of the ‘community of the common destiny for mankind’.”


28.11.2022 – 4.12.2022

Chinese Ambassador and Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs discuss “the importance of strengthening cooperation in the law enforcement field”

A photo from the meeting. Source: The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Vakhtang Gomelauri met with the Ambassador of China Zhou Qian, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia reported on December 1. The Deputy Military Attaché of the Embassy of China in Georgia Shi Qiao also attended the meeting.

Reportedly, the parties talked about the “fruitful foreign-political and trade-economic relations” between Georgia and China. The participants of the meeting also noted “the importance of strengthening cooperation in the law enforcement field”.

At the end of the meeting, Gomelauri thanked Zhou Qian for the “strong support of the People’s Republic of China for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia”.


Chinese Embassy representative discusses China-Azerbaijan economic relations prospects

Ma Chi. Source: Trend

During a panel session at the Trade and Export’ forum in Baku, the Adviser on Economic and Trade Issues of the Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan Ma Chi said that the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China increased from January through October 2022, Trend reported on November 30.

According to him, the trade amounted to $240 million, up to 20% on an annual basis. Reportedly, the main products in the trade turnover are crude oil and chemical products.

“We invite Azerbaijani entrepreneurs to the annual exhibitions. These exhibitions are an excellent way to enter our market. Last time, 2,800 entrepreneurs from 145 countries took part in our exhibition,” Ma Chi said.

He suggested that considering the huge consumer market of China, Azerbaijan had great potential to export meat products to China.

Ma Chi also said Azerbaijan had a good potential to invest in manufacturing.

“Of course, we are considering this direction mutually. I also consider it important to expand e-commerce between countries. For example, China’s turnover through e-commerce in annual terms is $ 220 billion. Azerbaijan can benefit from this and attract a large currency flow into the country’s economy,” the Adviser added.


Huawei opened ICT Academy at Baku Higher Oil School

A photo from the event. Source: BHOS

On November 30, Trend reported that China’s Huawei Technologies Azerbaijan LLC “reinforced its commitment to developing Azerbaijan’s digital ecosystem by strengthening its cooperation” with the Baku Higher Oil School. SOCAR’s Baku Higher Oil School (BHOS) and Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Huawei ICT Academy, BHOS wrote.

According to Huawei, its ICT Academy will bring university programs “closer to the reality of technology companies”, and support “the transition to a digital economy”.

Reportedly, the ICT Academy is to provide the students with access to Huawei knowledge, “as well as the latest technological innovations in areas as diverse as big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and 5G”.

According to the report, Azerbaijan’s universities will now gain access to “a more structured and evolved program, which incorporates much of the best practices, from Huawei’s innovation and know-how”.

“I would like to invite more colleges and universities to join the Huawei ICT Academy Program, so together we can align what the students learn with the needs of the ICT market that is in constant evolution. Relying on Huawei’s experience in ICT talent cultivation, the ICT Academy helps universities create a systematic, technologically advanced, standardized, and practical ICT environment and course system, enabling students to meet enterprise requirements,” the General Director of Huawei Technologies Azerbaijan LLC, David Xu said.


Chinese Ambassador attended the opening of the Chinese Teaching Center in Azerbaijan

A photo from the event. Source: The Chinese Embassy in Azerbaijan

On November 29, the Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min visited the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction (AUAC) and attended the founding ceremony of the Chinese Teaching Center of the University, the Chinese Embassy reported. The Rector of AUAC, Gulchohra Mammadova, Azerbaijani Director of the Confucius Institute of the Azerbaijan University of Languages (AUL), Rafik Abbasov, and others attended the event.

Reportedly, the Azerbaijan University of Languages Confucius Institute opened a new Chinese Teaching Center at the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction, which is to provide “a broad platform” for teachers and students of the University to learn the Chinese language and understand Chinese culture.

The Ambassador said that, in recent years, “under the personal care and promotion of the leaders of our countries”, China-Azerbaijan relations kept moving forward, while “local people’s interest in the Chinese language and its teaching has been increasing in Azerbaijan”.

According to the Embassy report, Rector Mammadova expressed “sincere gratitude” to the Embassy of China in Azerbaijan for its support for the development of the Chinese Teaching Center. The Ambassador and the Rector jointly attended the signing ceremony of the Chinese Teaching Center of AUAC.


Chinese Ambassador discusses relation prospects with Georgia

In a November 29 interview with Business Rustavi 2, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian said that the Chinese side was ready to strengthen the Belt and Road cooperation with Georgia, “to ensure the convergence of this project with the Middle Corridor, and to promote the interconnection between Europe and Asia and the economic development of the Eurasian continent”.

While answering the question regarding the free trade agreement between Georgia and China, Zhou Qian said:

“I think the potential of the agreement has not been fully exploited, the reason is that less attention was paid to the possibilities of the agreement, it was used only to export Georgian wine, although we must not forget that China is not only one of the largest markets in the world, but also a supplier…” The Ambassador thinks that there is great potential for starting the production of Chinese products in Georgia and for export to the European Union and the former Soviet Union countries.

About the investment issue, the Ambassador said that many Chinese companies participated in the implementation of infrastructure projects financed by international financial institutions in Georgia, including highway, railway, and water supply projects. He also announced that soon one of the renewable energy resource companies was going to come to study the Georgian market and discuss cooperation with the Georgian side in terms of renewable energy.


Chinese Ambassador attended Eurasian Research on Modern China and Eurasia conference in Armenia

A photo from the event. Source: Armenpress

The 4th Eurasian Research on Modern China and Eurasia two-day conference was held in Yerevan, Armenpress reported on December 2. The conference was organized by the China-Eurasia Council for Political and Strategic Research with support from the Chinese Embassy in Armenia.

The Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong said in his remarks that holding the conference was a major achievement. He said that it was “a good opportunity both for strengthening the relations between China and Armenia and discussing various issues around the relations between China and the Eurasian Economic Union.”

“China plays a big role in implementing reforms in international systems. We are ready to do whatever depends on us to build the best future for humanity,” the Ambassador said.

The Eurasian Economic Commission Director for Integration Development Gohar Barseghyan said that both the EEU and China had a big geopolitical role today.


Armenian scholar’s comments in an anti-American article in Chinese media

On November 29, an anti-American article entitled “Scale of US attacks laid bare in study” was published in the Chinese state-controlled China Daily. The piece contained comments of the Chairman of the Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies in Yerevan, Benyamin Poghosyan.

Reportedly, he told China Daily that the US had put significant focus on using force at different levels to pursue its geopolitical interests: “I believe that the absence of checks and balances in international relations contributed to the use of force by the US,” he said.