|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)
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The Chinese MFA once again targets Georgia’s democratic revolution of 2003
On February 20, the Chinese Foreign Ministry published “US Hegemony and Its Perils”. The publication once again targeted Georgia’s democratic Rose Revolution of 2003.
“The year 2003 marked the beginning of a succession of ‘color revolutions’ – the ‘Rose Revolution’ in Georgia, the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine, and the ‘Tulip Revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan. The U.S. Department of State openly admitted playing a ‘central role’ in these ‘regime changes’.” the Chinese MFA wrote in the first part of the publication entitled “Political Hegemony — Throwing Its Weight Around,” the paper said.
In the introduction of the publication, the MFA claimed that the United States had “developed a hegemonic playbook to stage ‘color revolutions’, instigate regional disputes, and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom, and human rights”.
The publication stated that “in the name of ‘promoting democracy’, the United States practiced a ‘Neo-Monroe Doctrine’ in Latin America, instigated ‘color revolutions’ in Eurasia, and orchestrated the ‘Arab Spring’ in West Asia and North Africa, bringing chaos and disaster to many countries”.
Aliyev and the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on European Affairs discuss cooperation
A photo from the meeting. Source: The President of Azerbaijan
On March 7, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, met with the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on European Affairs, Wu Hongbo, who was attending the 10th Global Baku Forum in Azerbaijan, the Chinese MFA reported. According to the Azerbaijani President’s office, Wu said that the Chinese side was greatly impressed by the country`s achievements in economic and other areas under “the strong leadership of the Azerbaijani President”.
“Underlining that he has always supported the one-China policy, and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of China, President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that cooperation with China is one of the main priorities of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. The Azerbaijani leader hailed the strengthening of bilateral relations year by year, adding that cooperation between the two countries is expanding not only on various political platforms but also in the economic sphere and as part of the ‘Belt and Road’…” the President’s office reported.
The President provided information about the renewable energy potential of Azerbaijan and pointed out that China has excellent technological capabilities in this field. During the meeting, Chinese companies were also invited to participate in reconstruction activities in the re-gained territories of Azerbaijan. Aliyev once again praised China for the Covid-19 cooperation.
The two exchanged views on the further expansion of economic, humanitarian, and tourism cooperation, noted the existence of “great opportunities for the development of bilateral relations, and stressed the importance of enhancing contacts among media, research centers, and peoples”.
Wu also stressed that Azerbaijan’s Nizami Ganjavi International Center had already become internationally recognized as a place where where vital issues of international peace and security agenda were discussed. Chinese MFA reported that Wu Hongbo also met with Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov and Assistant of President for Foreign Policy Affairs Hikmat Hajiyev.
China provides 100 million Yuan to Armenia for broadcasting purposes as part of the cooperation agreement
On February 28, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mnatsakan Safaryan said that China would provide free-of-charge assistance to Armenia in the amount of 100 million Chinese Yuan for designing the broadcasting hall for Armenia’s Public Television, including for the debate and implementation of other inter-agreed projects.
According to the Armenian Parliament, he said this while introducing the draft law on Ratifying the Agreement on Technical-Economic Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Armenian Parliament. The Agreement was signed on November 15, 2021.
Reportedly, the member of the Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth, and Sport, Narek Babayan, introduced the endorsement of the Head Committee on the draft and noted that this was not the first assistance to the Public Television Company from China. The report said that the main broadcasting hall of the Public Television Company had been re-equipped, and a mobile station had been provided.
In 2022, China was the 6th biggest investor country in Georgia
Geostat published a report showing foreign district investments in 2022, Bm.ge reported on March 10. China was the 6th biggest investor country in Georgia with $109 million.
Pashinyan to Xi: I am confident that under your skillful leadership China will make an important contribution to international peace, stability
On March 10, the Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan congratulated Xi Jinping on the occasion of his “re-election as the President of China”.
“I am confident that under your skillful leadership, the People’s Republic of China will continue to make further economic and social progress and make an important contribution to international peace and stability,” Pashinyan wrote.
He noted that he highly valued “the traditional Armenian-Chinese friendly relations” and reaffirmed his willingness to make maximum efforts toward the continuous development and expansion of bilateral cooperation.
Chinese Ambassador says Georgia’s statements coincide with China’s Global Security Initiative
On February 27, Interpressnews published an article by the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia, Zhou Qian, entitled “‘Global Security Initiative’ guarding the world peace”. The article was also published by Imedi and Sinomedia.
Besides other issues, the ambassador pointed out Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s comments at the Munich Security Conference: “He emphasized that there is no alternative to peaceful negotiations and by maintaining peace and stability Georgia has achieved visible results”. The Ambassador noted that Georgia’s statements coincided with China’s Global Security Initiative to protect world peace, consider the legitimate concerns of countries regarding security, and resolve conflicts and disputes through dialogue and consultation in a peaceful way.
The Chinese Ambassador expressed hope that “together with Georgia and other peace-loving developing states”, they would follow the course determined by the “Global Security Initiative” and promote the construction of a balanced, effective, sustainable security architecture and the protection of peace in the world through mutual support and cooperation.
Aliyev to Xi: I am confident that we will continue our joint efforts to deepen Azerbaijan-China relations in all spheres
Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, congratulated Xi Jinping on his “reelection as the President of the People’s Republic of China”, Azertac reported on March 10.
“The unanimous outcome of the elections signifies great trust and confidence in your person and support of the political line you pursue and a high appreciation of your large-scale activities and merits aimed at China’s overall development and prosperity,” Aliyev wrote. He also wrote that Azerbaijan attached particular significance to the relations between the two countries “based on historical traditions and a solid foundation”.
“Our ever-expanding political dialogue, successful cooperation in economy, transportation, logistics, infrastructure, investments, energy, and other domains, partnership within the ‘Belt and Road’ and ‘Middle Corridor’ projects, and active involvement of the Chinese companies in the restoration and reconstruction works across our liberated territories are among the primary factors that characterize our close relations,” the President said.
He expressed confidence that they would continue joint efforts to deepen Azerbaijan-China relations in all spheres, expand cooperation, and further enhance mutual engagement on the infrastructure projects “that open broad prospects for the regional economic partnership”.
Pashinyan to Li Qiang: I am willing to work with you for the further development and deepening of the Armenia-China partnership
On March 11, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent a congratulatory message to Li Qiang on the occasion of his appointment as the Chairman of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, the Armenian PM office reported.
Pashinyan expressed confidence that his “rich and long-term experience in working in the state administration system” would contribute “to the prosperity” of China, and “the further strengthening of its reputation and role in the international arena”.
“I convey my willingness to work with you for the further development and deepening of the partnership between our two countries and peoples,” the Prime Minster added.
China Southern Airlines to resume direct flights from China to Azerbaijan
China Southern Airlines was to resume its normal schedule of direct flights between China and Azerbaijan, Azemedia reported on February 23.
Reportedly, the flights between Guangzhou and Baku were scheduled to resume in March 2023. The report said that the first flight would be performed on March 13.
Armenian Minister and Chinese Ambassador discuss trade, economic cooperation
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Embassy of China to Armenia
On February 21, Armenia’s Minister of Economy, Vahan Kerobyan, was invited to the Chinese Embassy in Armenia, where he met with the Chinese Ambassador, Fan Yong.
Fan noted that China was ready to work with the Armenian side to promote development of bilateral trade and economic relations and raise them to a new level. The two sides also discussed the Armenian-Chinese intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation.
AZPROMO and Chinese companies discuss cooperation
A photo from the event. Source: AZPROMO
Azerbaijan’s Export and Investment Promotion Agency (AZPROMO) hosted a meeting with a delegation of Chinese companies, headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade in Heilongjiang Province (CCPIT), Tan Baicheng, AZPROMO reported on February 28.
The Advisor to AZPROMO, Executive Director Tural Hajili, emphasized Azerbaijani companies’ interest to cooperate with Chinese partners.
Tang Baicheng said the purpose of his visit to Azerbaijan was to expand cooperation, find potential partners for Chinese companies, and support the participation of Azerbaijani companies in international exhibitions in China.
Reportedly, Azerbaijani companies were invited to participate in the 32nd Harbin International Trade and Economic Fair and in the 2nd China (Heilongjiang) International Green Food Industry FairThe event continued with B2B meetings between Azerbaijani and Chinese entrepreneurs.
Georgian Ambassador discusses cooperation issues with China’s Harbin representative
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Embassy of Georgia to China
On February 19-22, the Georgian Ambassador to China, Archil Kalandia, visited Harbin, in Heilongjiang province, China. The Georgian Ambassador met with the Governor of the region, the Mayor of Harbin, and local business circles representatives.
Kalandia introduced Georgia’s investment and tourism opportunities to the Chinese side. The issues of cooperation in trade-economic, tourism, and cultural fields were also discussed.
Azerbaijani Prime Minister expresses confidence that cooperation with China will continue to develop and strengthen
Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov sent a congratulatory letter to Li Qiang on his appointment as the Chairman of the State Council of China, Azertac reported on March 11.
Asadov wished Li Qiang success in his work and expressed confidence that through joint efforts the “mutually beneficial cooperation and friendship” between Azerbaijan and China would continue to develop and strengthen.
Georgian politician sends “well-wishes” to Chinese MFA-organized documentary festival
Nino Burjanadze’s picture among others. Source: CGTN
The China Documentary Festival “Belt and Road” International Screening, organized by the China Media Group (CMG), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was launched online, the Chinese state-controlled CGTN reported on February 20.
The report said that more than 50 dignitaries, former dignitaries, heads of media organizations, and guest representatives from different “Belt and Road” participating countries, including Georgia, “sent video well-wishes at the launching ceremony to wish the success of this year’s China Documentary Festival”. The picture of “guests from many countries” who sent well wishes included Nino Burjanadze, the leader of the Georgian party “Democratic Movement – United Georgia”.
According to China’s state-controlled China Daily, Nino Burjanadze said that today all countries could benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative which, like the ancient Silk Road, spread China’s wisdom to a wider world.
Chinese Embassy in Armenia wishes to strengthen communication with Vagharshapat city hall
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Embassy of China in Armenia
On February 23, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong visited the Armenian city Vagharshapat and met with Mayor Diana Gasparyan.
The Chinese Embassy in Armenia reported that it was ready to closely cooperate with the city hall, “strengthen friendly regional exchanges, and further contribute to strengthening communication and traditional friendship between the peoples of China and Armenia”.
The report also said that Vagharshapat had established friendly relations with Chinese cities and was actively developing exchanges and cooperation in culture, tourism, and education fields.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Affairs Minister discusses cooperation with a Chinese representative
A photo from the meeting. Source: Azertac
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeyhun Bayramov, met with a Special Representative of the Government of China on Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, who was on a visit to the country to attend the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group in response to the Covid-19, Azertac reported on March.
Reportedly, they noted high dynamics of relations development between Azerbaijan and China in political, trade, economic, and transport fields, stressing the importance of developing other areas of mutual interest. The two emphasized the importance of establishing and developing cooperation between the countries regions and cities, as well as “organization of mutual visits”.
Bayramov said there were “great opportunities for cooperation” in the transport, transit, and logistics fields and noted Alat’s free economic zone and investments were important for cooperation development.
Armenian scholar publishes another pro-Beijing anti-Western piece in the Chinese state-controlled media
On February 20, the Chairman of the Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies in Yerevan, Benyamin Poghosyan, published another pro-Beijing anti-Western piece in the Chinese state-controlled media outlet China Daily entitled “Unlike West, China promotes lasting peace”. Poghosyan wrote about “the United States’ hegemony”. According to him, “the Ukraine conflict” became the litmus test for global powers’ intentions and behavior”, and China “passed it”.