|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 179th out of 180 countries)
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Material published by the Chinese Embassy in Georgia website targets Rose Revolution
On May 18, the Chinese Embassy in Georgia published a text entitled “America’s Coercive Diplomacy and Its Harm”. The content targeted Georgia’s democratic Rose Revolution of 2003.
The publication claimed that the US was “good at interfering, either directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of other countries by supporting proxy wars, inciting civil wars, providing weapons and ammunition, and training anti-government forces, etc., to counter ‘disobedient’ countries and regions”.
“Since the 20th century, under the banner of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’, the United States has promoted the ‘Neo-Monroe Doctrine’ in Latin America, provoked ‘color revolutions’ in Eurasia… engaging in ‘peaceful evolution’ in various parts of the world, wantonly engaging in hegemonic bullying and sending out a clear message that whoever follows it will survive and whoever defies it shall perish,” the document said.
Regarding Georgia, it claimed the following: “Since 2003, the US has played a hand in the ‘Rose Revolution’ in Georgia, the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine, and the ‘Tulip Revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan”.
It’s noteworthy that the content was also published on the website of China’s Foreign Ministry.
China and Armenia discussed strengthening cooperation in the defense field
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Embassy of China in Armenia
On May 11, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia, Fan Yong, met with Armenia’s Defense Minister, Suren Papikyan, the Chinese Embassy reported. The two sides discussed developing bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation in the national defense field between China and Armenia.
Chinese Ambassador discusses China-Georgia relations and China’s foreign policy at the Georgian Parliament
Nikoloz Samkharadze and Zhou Qian. Source: The Embassy of China in Georgia
On May 15, at the Georgian Parliament’s foreign relations committee meeting, the hearing of China’s Ambassador to Georgia, Zhou Qian, was held regarding the main aspects of China’s foreign policy and relations with Georgia, the Parliament report said.
“China is an important partner of Georgia and it is interesting to hear about the visions that the People’s Republic of China has in the direction of global politics and deepening of bilateral relations,” the Chairman of the committee and Georgia’s ruling party Georgian Dream party MP, Nikoloz Samkharadze, said.
The Ambassador discussed relations between Georgia and China saying: “We support each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we are good friends and reliable partners… We are ready to work with Georgia to protect national sovereignty, security, development, and each other’s main national interests.”.
Regarding the “Ukraine crisis” the Ambassador said that this issue had become a concern of everyone and in response China had launched a Global Security Initiative. The Ambassador noted that it was a concept of “shared, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security,” and its long-term goal was to build a secure community that offers “dialogue, partnership and shared benefits”.
“The concept supports mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes through dialogue and consultation. It reflects China’s position on safeguarding peace and security in the world,” he added.
Besides, the Chinese Embassy report noted that Ambassador Zhou spoke about China-Georgia relations, the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Taiwan issue, elaborating policy proposals.
After the meeting, Zhou Qian presented Xi Jinping’s Speeches on Diplomacy book as a gift to Samkharadze.
Chinese media targets Georgia and NATO Bucharest summit of 2008
On May 11, Chinese state media China Daily published an article entitled “China paving way for peace while others fuel conflict”. The article contained disinformation and propaganda about Georgia and the West.
“It should be kept in mind that it was the United States that first instigated Russia. It all began in April 2008 at the NATO Summit in Bucharest, where NATO announced that Ukraine and Georgia were welcome to apply for membership in the alliance. Russians drew a line and made it quite plain that they saw this as an existential danger,” the article said.
Three more Azerbaijani trade houses to open in China
Trade Representative of Azerbaijan in China, Teymur Nadiroglu, said that in 2023, the opening of three more Azerbaijani trading houses in China – in the cities of Beijing, Chengdu, and Shenyang – is planned, Report said on May 11.
Sargsyan and the Chinese Ambassador discuss Xi Jinping’s initiatives
A photo from the meeting. Source: The Embassy of Armenia in China
On May 19, the Ambassador of China to Armenia, Fan Yong, invited former President of Armenia and the Chairman of the Republican Party, Serzh Sargsyan, to visit the Embassy and “have friendly exchanges”. Hayk Mamijanyan from the Republican Party also attended the meeting.
Reportedly, the Chinese Ambassador made a throughout introduction of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative.
Sargsyan “appreciated the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind and the three major initiatives put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping, admired the new achievements of Chinese-style modernization”, and expressed his willingness to continue to strengthen exchanges with China on governance and to contribute to the development of bilateral relations.
In January-April 2023, China was Georgia’s fourth-largest trading partner
In January-April 2023, China was Georgia’s fourth-largest trading partner, the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) reported on May 19. The turnover between China and Georgia amounted to $490.6 million – 7.6% of the total turnover.
China was Georgia’s fifth-biggest trading partner by exports ($161.3 million) which was 8.2% of the total exports of Georgia. Compared to January-April 2022, that was a decrease of 44.4%.
China was Georgia’s fourth import partner ($329.2 million), 7.3% of Georgia’s total imports. There was a 1.5% growth compared to January-April 2022 data.
Chinese Ambassador and Armenia’s National Agenda Party representatives discuss China-Armenia relations
A photo from the meeting. Source: Chinese Ambassador to Armenia
On May 19, the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia, Fan Yong wrote that he was glad to meet the Chairman of the Board of the National Agenda Party, Ara Hakobyan, and the Executive Secretary of the Party, Ara Gasparyan.
“We exchanged views on China-Armenian relations in a friendly atmosphere,” the Ambassador added.
The establishment of the China-Azerbaijan joint industrial park is planned, Azerbaijani representative says
On May 11, a trade representative of Azerbaijan in China, Teymur Nadiroglu, told Report that in the near future, it was planned to establish a joint industrial park with China in Azerbaijan.
The representative said that Azerbaijan’s Trade Representative Office in China regularly held meetings with potential Chinese investors, “providing them with detailed information about the business environment, as well as the privileges, tax concessions and exemptions offered to investors in industrial parks, the Alat Free Economic Zone”, and the regained territories.
He said that they would continue their activities and efforts in this direction.
According to Nadiroglu, since 1995, Chinese investors had made direct investments in Azerbaijan totaling $920 million. Reportedly, more than 200 Chinese companies operate in Azerbaijan in industry, energy, infrastructure, information technology, trade, agriculture, and other fields, and this number is increasing every year.
Chinese Ambassador met with Kutaisi representatives and inspected the city’s FIZ
Photos from Zhou Qian’s visit to Kutaisi, Georgia. Source: The Embassy of China in Georgia
The Ambassador of China to Georgia, Zhou Qian, was invited to Kutaisi to take part in the events planned to celebrate Kutaisi Day 2023, the Chinese Embassy in Georgia reported on May 4.
The Ambassador met with the Mayor of Kutaisi Municipality, Ioseb Khakhaleishvili, the State Commissioner, Zviad Shalamberidze, and the delegation of Kutaisi’s sister city, the Chinese city of Nanchang.
Zhou Qian also visited Kutaisi’s free industrial zone – its main investor is the Chinese Hualing Group. Reportedly, he met with the representatives of the industrial zone and enterprises, with whom he discussed the current projects.
China’s and Armenia’s provinces and cities sign a cooperation agreement
A screenshot from an online meeting. Source: The Embassy of China in Armenia
On May 15, the Ambassador of China to Armenia, Fan Yong, attended an online signing ceremony on the Letter of Intent for Friendly Exchanges and Cooperation between China’s Anhui Province and Armenia’s Vayots Dzor Province, and the cities of Hefei, China and Yeghegnadzor, Armenia.
Reportedly, the Chinese Embassy in Armenia is willing to continue to support the strengthening of contacts between the provinces and cities of the two sides, and “jointly push forward the continuous development of friendly and cooperative relations between China and Armenia”.
Armenia’s Ambassador to China, Sergey Manassarian, and other officials from the two countries attended the online event.
Georgian representatives discuss China-Georgia relations with Hubei representatives
On May 9-11, the delegation of the Embassy of Georgia in China visited China’s Hubei province cities Daye and Huangshi, meeting with Chinese representatives.
The Senior Counselor of the Georgian Embassy in China, Besik Sharashenidze, spoke about the dynamics of the relations between Georgia and China with representatives of the local government and made a special emphasis on the importance of deepening trade and economic cooperation.
Within the framework of the visit, the host party organized a business forum in which local entrepreneurs participated.
The Embassy representatives also visited the companies “Donper Group” – “Hubei Rongtong High Tech Advanced Materials Group Co., LTD”, “Daye E-commerce Industrial Park”, “Jing Brand Co., LTD” that were interested in future cooperation with Georgia.
Chinese Ambassador to develop further cooperation between the higher education institutions of China and Azerbaijan
A photo from the meeting. Source: ASOIU
On May 12, the Rector of the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University (ASOIU) Mustafa Babanli met with the Ambassador of China to Azerbaijan, Guo Min.
During the meeting, the Ambassador compared ASOIU with the leading universities in China and said that she would do her best to develop further cooperation between the higher education institutions of the two countries.
View from Ararat exhibition was opened in the Fujian Museum, China
On May 18, the International Day of Museums, the View from Ararat exhibition was opened in the Fujian Museum of the Fujian Province of China with the History Museum of Yerevan exhibits, Radar Armenia reported.
Reportedly, it was organized according to the agreement signed between Yerevan City History Museum ANC, Armenian-Chinese Partnership Center NGO, and Fujian Museum. Li Kun, the head of China’s State Bureau of Cultural Assets, Deputy Minister of National Culture and Tourism, and other officials attended the event.