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 177th out of 180 countries)
Huawei, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Digital Development and an Azerbaijani university to establish an R&D center
Rashad Nabiyev, Hafiz Pashayev, Zhao Lei. Source: The Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Digital Development and Transport, the ADA University in Azerbaijan and Huawei signed a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Joint Research and Development Centre.
According to the Ministry report, the project will be implemented with the view to developing innovative products and making a long-term contribution to Azerbaijan’s ICT sector. For human resources, within the project “highly qualified local specialists” will be trained with Huawei certificates. The R&D Centre will train specialists in ICT, including 5G, GPON, IP technologies and other relevant areas.
The Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev noted that one of the main goals of Azerbaijan for the next 10 years was to build a “creative and innovative society”. According to the Ministry, this is one of the main tasks outlined in Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development by President Ilham Aliyev. The Ministry noted that it was necessary to develop scientific research, science and technology-intensive processing industry in Azerbaijan.
“I am confident that the R&D Centre, which will be established on the basis of today’s signing, will play an important role in achieving our goals. As a ministry, we will spare no effort to establish such centers,” Nabiyev said.
Huawei Vice President for the Eurasian Region Zhao Lei said that Huawei was interested in the role of digital technologies in the economic development of Azerbaijani society.
Zao Lei said that the establishment of this center aimed to train more professionals in Azerbaijan and to familiarize Azerbaijani users with the use of advanced technologies.
The Ministry noted that the participants of the training programs would acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to implement digital transformation in Azerbaijan.
The Rector of the ADA University Hafiz Pashayev said that the document enabled the Azerbaijani side to cooperate with Huawei.
13.12.2021 – 19.12.2021
Armenian President and Chinese Ambassador discussed opportunities for deepening cooperation
Fan Yong and Armen Sarkissian. Source: The President of the Republic of Armenia
The President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian met with Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong, the website of the President of the Republic of Armenia reported on December 16.
According to the report, they exchanged views on the agenda of the Armenian-Chinese relations, perspective direction of cooperation and opportunities for deepening cooperation in various spheres. The President’s website noted that they had also touched upon regional security and stability issues.
Chinese state media continues targeting Georgia’s Rose Revolution
Chinese state media newspaper Global Times continued targeting Georgia’s Rose Revolution. On December 15, Global Times published an article “US awards Lithuania ‘beacon of democracy’ for its provocation”.
It said that everything the US could now offer was “an empty title - ’beacon of democracy’”.
“Whichever country or region is praised by the US as a ‘beacon’, it will basically end up being US cannon fodder. Be it Georgia, Ukraine, Tunisia or the Middle East, where US promotes democracy, these places will witness chaos, governments are overturned, development is blocked, and people suffer,” the article said.
On the same day, another article was published by Guan Guoping entitled “Stripping off the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ of American democracy”.
“Since the end of the Cold War, ’color revolutions‘ have continued to occur in many parts of the world. And behind them hides the hand of the US. This includes the ’Rose Revolution‘ in Georgia in 2003, the ’Orange Revolution‘ in Ukraine in 2004, the ’Jasmine Revolution‘ in Tunisia in 2010, the ’Arab Spring‘ in the Middle East in 2011, and the ’Second Color Revolution‘ in Ukraine in 2014,” the second article said.
The author claimed that the result of “all these events” was that “the governments were overthrown, the countries ended up in turmoil, development of the countries was hindered, and the people suffered”.
On December 23, Global Times published a report: “GT investigates: Why American institutes stigmatize Chinese students who defend reputation of motherland?” The article contained the comments of Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University. Li mentioned that “countries such as Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan have shown that some of the young people, after having studied in and being influenced by the US, became the detonators of color revolutions in their countries”.
Georgian analyst comments on Georgia’s Rose Revolution in Chinese state media report
On December 16, Chinese state media news agency Xinhua published a report, “World Insights: What lurks behind US-advocated ’color revolutions’?” where Zaal Anjaparidze, who is referred to as a “Georgian political scholar”, commented on Georgia's Rose Revolution.
Zaal Anjaparidze said that during the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili promised to build a real democratic society, eliminate corruption and revive the economy.
Anjaparidze said that the country’s political parties, “relying on the support of the United States, came to power under the banner of reform and anti-corruption, and yet they were engaged in new corruption, and dissidents were suppressed, and freedom of speech was strictly restricted”.
“Georgians have awoken from the illusion about the revolt,” Anjaparidze claimed.
Zaal Anjaparidze is International Center on Conflict & Negotiations (ICCN) coordinator of Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) annual Caucasian Dialogue program. Myth Detector names Zaal Anjaparidze as a Georgian Government-affiliated analyst.
At the beginning of the article, Xinhua wrote the following: “Uprisings in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ engineered and backed by the United States erupted in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East over the past years. The revolts bore fragrant-sounding names, such as the ‘Rose Revolution’ in Georgia, the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine, the ‘Tulip Revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan and the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in Tunisia, seemed to bode well for their respective futures. Over the past 10-plus years, their hope for U.S.-style democracy by way of the so-called ‘color revolution’ has been relentlessly dashed: the once-promising outlook has degenerated into a bitter reality featuring frequent conflicts, shattered economy and unutterable suffering”.
Azerbaijani Ambassador to China delivered a speech at “Love Knows No Borders” charity sale in Beijing
Photo from the event. Source: China.org.cn
The opening ceremony of “Love Knows No Borders - Rural Revitalization, Health Care First” International Charity Sale was held in Beijing on December 18. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, other Chinese officials with over 160 representatives of foreign embassies, international organizations in China and relevant companies attended the ceremony online and offline. Twenty-two embassies, including Azerbaijani and Armenian embassies and other organizations were given the “Contribution Award”, “Love Award” and “Diplomacy Award” during the ceremony. Georgian Ambassador to China Archil Kalandia attended the event online.
According to a Chinese news outlet, Azerbaijani Ambassador to China Akram Zeynalli extended congratulations on China’s “great achievements in poverty alleviation” and expressed appreciation to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for holding the “Love Knows No Borders” event for years running.
He said the event provided an important platform for people and cultures around the world to interact with each other, also “made important contributions to China’s poverty alleviation and the realization of the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects”.
Zeynalli said that in 2021 diplomatic envoys and their wives in China were invited to visit Malipo and Jinping in Yunnan Province to learn about the implementation of “Love Knows No Borders” Charity Sale projects. The article said that “as a good friend and partner of China”, Azerbaijan would continue to support and participate in “Love Knows No Borders” and help China’s rural revitalization.
Chinese Ambassador to Armenia: In the future, China will open wider doors of cooperation
In a December 16 interview with Armenpress, Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong presented the “results” of the 6th plenary session of the 19th CCP Central Committee and discussed China-Armenia relations.
“Armenia is one of the first countries that supported and took part in the Belt and Road Initiative,” Fan Yong said.
The Ambassador said that for many years, China has been Armenia’s second-largest trading partner. He noted that according to China’s statistics, in January-October 2021 the volume of bilateral trade between China and Armenia amounted to nearly $1.2 billion, which according to the statistics was an increase of 57%.
Fan Yong said that in the future, China would open wider doors of cooperation.
On the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Armenia in 2022, he noted that the sides must further strengthen mutual political trust, “closely” cooperate in the international arena, “firmly support” each other in matters related to mutual interests and each other's concerns, defend their sovereignty, security, development interests, international relations, impartiality and justice.
The Ambassador said that both countries should use “historical opportunities to advance the quality of the Belt and Road Initiative”, and use the potential for cooperation in the fields of economics, trade, medicine and other fields. - “Continue to strengthen the material and social basis of friendship between the two countries to contribute to the development of the shared future for mankind program“.
Armenian scholar criticized US-led Summit for Democracy in an interview with Chinese state media
On December 13, Xinhua published an interview with the Chairman of the Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies in Yerevan, Benyamin Poghosyan, entitled “’Summit for Democracy’ increases mistrust, complicates global problems, says Armenian expert“.
According to the report, Poghosyan says that “the so-called ‘Summit for Democracy’ convened by the United States will definitely increase mistrust among countries and complicate global problems“.
He believes that the primary goal of the summit is the US desire to establish “a so-called alternative UN, where no country will have the veto power to oppose any U.S. decision or plans“.
Poghosyan criticized the US administration’s attempt “to postpone the emergence of the multi-polar world order and extend the U.S. hegemony as long as possible“ through its Summit for Democracy.
He also said that the US action “to divide“ the world based on ideology would only “increase mistrust“ among main international players and “complicate“ global problems.
According to the Xinhua report, Poghosyan suggested that the US focus its attention on solving “its deep-rooted problems such as racial and social inequality and the growing polarization between coastal megapolises and rural areas“.
He added that the dispute over the 2020 presidential election results “had shaken the foundations“ of the American democracy.
As for the definition of democracy, Poghosyan said he believed genuine democracy meant dignity for the citizens and dignity in all spheres, “namely to exercise rights and secure essential economic well-being“.
Chinese Ambassador met with the Presidents of Badminton and Table Tennis Federations of Armenia
Fan Yong with Hovhannes Khachatryan and Felix Sargsyan. Source: Chinese Embassy in Armenia
On December 13, the Ambassador of China to Armenia Fan Yong met with Hovhannes Khachatryan, the President of Badminton Federation of Armenia, and Felix Sargsyan, the President of Table Tennis Federation of Armenia, and presented sporting equipment.
Ambassador Fan said that the Chinese Embassy in Armenia maintained a good cooperative relationship with federations and had co-hosted the “Friendship Cup” table tennis match with Armenia’s Table Tennis Federation, “which has deepened the friendship between all sides”.
The representatives wished the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics “a complete success”, and said that federations were grateful to the Chinese Embassy in Armenia for their long-term support. They look forward to continuing to cooperate with the Chinese Embassy, and “to host friendly matches” after the Covid-19 situation improves.
The presentation of Georgian wine was held in China with the support of Georgia’s National Wine Agency
Photo from the event. Source: Georgia’s National Wine Agency
The presentation of Georgian wine “Georgian Wine Roadshow” was held in two Chinese cities, Shanghai and Chengdu, Georgia’s National Wine Agency reported on December 17. On December 20, a similar event was to be hosted by Shenzhen.
The presentation of Georgian wine was led by Julien Boulard MW, Master of Wine. Julien Boulard “is among the five wine professionals” selected by the marketing company Meiburg Wine Media within the framework of the “Georgian Wine Education Program”. Meiburg Wine Media is the contractor of the National Wine Agency. According to the report, these people conduct seminars and educational events in China to popularize Georgian wine.
Julien Boulard talked about Georgia’s wine culture and other aspects. Boulard also spoke about “the importance” of the trade partnership between Georgia and China.
According to the report, during Georgian wine tastings, different styles of wine were presented to attract different segments of consumers. Potential buyers, importers, distributors attended the presentations.
In January-November 2021, up to 5.5 million bottles of wine were exported from Georgia to China, which was 26% more than the same period in 2020.
The Confucius Institute in Azerbaijan held a cultural seminar
“To celebrate the International Tea Day”, on December 14, the Confucius Institute at the Azerbaijan University of Languages held a seminar with the theme “Azerbaijani and Chinese Tea Culture”.
The director of the Confucius Institute’s Azerbaijan branch Rafiq Abbasov said that the tea culture traditions of China and Azerbaijan were important components of the national culture of the two countries.
Baku Oxford School and Confucius Institute held an event
On December 14, at the invitation of Baku Oxford School in Azerbaijan, the Confucius Institute at the Baku State University held a Chinese culture event.
20.12.2021 – 26.12.2021
In January-November 2021, China was Georgia’s third-largest trading partner
In January-November 2021, China continued to be Georgia’s third-largest trading partner, the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat) reported on December 20. The turnover between China and Georgia amounted to $1.359 billion - 10.6% of the total turnover.
China was Georgia’s top trading partner by exports ($569.1 million) which was 14.9% of total exports of Georgia. Compared to January-November 2020, that was a growth of 27.4%.
The top export item was copper ores and concentrates, 81.2% of Georgia’s total exports to China ($462.2 million).
China also continued to be Georgia’s third import partner ($790.3 million), 8.8% of Georgia’s total imports. There was a 22.2% growth compared to January-November 2020 data.
Xi Jinping is ready to work with Aliyev on bringing the bilateral relations to a new level
The Chairman of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on his birthday, Azertag reported on December 23.
“I attach great importance to the development of Chinese-Azerbaijani relations and I am ready to work with you on bringing the bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation to a new level for the benefit of our countries and their peoples,” Xi Jinping wrote.
Xi noted that over the past years, Chinese-Azerbaijani relations had been developing rapidly and steadily, “mutual political trust was growing stronger” every day and cooperation in various fields was “successfully and fruitfully” advancing. He also added that in June 2021, during a telephone conversation, they reached “important agreements” on the development of bilateral relations and the deepening of cooperation in key areas.
A document on cooperation was signed between Batumi and Sanya
Archil Kalandia and Bao Hongwen. Source: The Embassy of Georgian in China
On December 25, at the initiative of the Georgian Embassy in China and with the involvement of Batumi City Hall, a document on cooperation was signed between Batumi and the city of Sanya on Hainan Island - “the most famous tourist cities of Georgia and China”. The agreement provides for cooperation between the parties in tourism, trade, education, culture and sports fields.
At the opening ceremony of the Sanya International Culture Industry Exhibition, the Mayor of Batumi Archil Chikovani remotely signed the document and from the Chinese side so did the Mayor of Sanya Bao Hongwen.
The Ambassador of Georgia Archil Kalandia, who was invited as an honorary guest, addressed the audience and spoke about “the importance” of intensifying cooperation in the field of tourism.
Chinese Ambassador and Armenian representative discuss “necessity” of deepening cooperation
Fan Yong and Eduard Aghajanyan. Source: Armenpress
On December 21, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations of the National Assembly of Armenia Eduard Aghajanyan met with Ambassador of China to Armenia Fan Yong, Armenpress reported.
Aghajanyan noted the contacts of the two parliaments, discussed the realization of the potential of bilateral relations and “the necessity of development of cooperation in a number of fields”. The Ambassador emphasized that it was necessary to further deepen the cooperation and expressed readiness in that regard.
According to the report, a reference was made to prospects of cooperation in tourism, infrastructure, education, culture, and other fields. The two sides expressed readiness to implement “mutually beneficial” programs.
The fourth Azerbaijan Trade House in China was opened
The opening ceremony of Azerbaijan Trade House in Zhangjiajie. Source: Report
Azerbaijan Trade House was opened in Zhangjiajie, China, an Azerbaijani news website reported on December 25. That is the fourth Trade House of Azerbaijan in China.
The Zhangjiajie city officials and company representatives attended the event. At the opening ceremony, Azerbaijani Trade Representative in China Teymur Nadiroglu talked about Azerbaijan-China economic and trade relations development and expressed hope that a new Trade House would contribute to these relations. The Deputy Mayor of Zhangjiajie city called the Azerbaijan Trade House opening in Zhangjiajie a significant event and noted that Zhangjiajie was interested in expanding cooperation with Azerbaijan.
The operators of the Trade House are Chinese companies Zhangjiajie Langrui and Sino-Foreign. These companies will import products directly from Azerbaijan and sell them at the Trade House. The Trade House will sell 50 types of food and beverage products produced in Azerbaijan.
Chinese Ambassador to Georgia discusses China’s view on “democracy”
On December 23, Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Li Yan published an article entitled “The true meaning of democracy and a better future”. The article was published at the website www.factor.ge.
Li Yan wrote about China’s view on democracy. She claimed that it was only after the formation of the Communist Party of China that a “radically new democratic revolutionary belief emerged and from there began the active development of democracy in China”.
According to the Ambassador, “some countries” gave unfounded instructions for the development of democratic initiatives in other countries: “They do not take into account the current national situation and historical development of these countries and forget that their democratic systems were not built overnight and even today, they lack a lot to be perfect”.
Azerbaijan and China closely cooperate in the international arena, Chinese Ambassador says
On December 17, the Chinese Ambassador to Azerbaijan Guo Min gave an interview to the Kaspiy newspaper, where the Ambassador discussed China-Azerbaijan relations, China’s policies, the CCP’s Chairman Xi Jinping’s proposed Global Development Initiative, Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and other topics.
On China-Azerbaijan relations, Guo Min said that countries maintained close contacts at a high level, constantly “strengthened political mutual trust and achieved significant results in various fields of practical cooperation”.
The Ambassador noted that the countries closely cooperated in the international arena, supported each other “on issues of key interests and each other’s main problems and by all means defended common interests”.
Guo Min said that favorable results of interaction have been achieved - cooperation projects in various fields, such as oil production, information and communications, construction and building materials were successfully implemented. The Ambassador added that the volume of railway cargo transportation in the China-Europe direction through the Trans-Caspian international transport route has significantly increased.
The Ambassador said that according to Azerbaijan statistics, from January to October 2021, trade between China and Azerbaijan amounted to $1.445 billion, of which Azerbaijan’s exports to China amounted to $136 million, and imports from China - $1.309 billion. Guo Min noted that the volume of trade in goods such as machinery, engines, electrical equipment, vaccines, cars, plastics, steel and rubber has increased significantly.
According to the Ambassador they “are ready to make joint efforts with Azerbaijan to further high-quality implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in order to achieve more practical results” in various fields.
Guo Min also said that according to the statistics of Azerbaijan, at present 195 Chinese enterprises were registered in Azerbaijan, which were engaged in trade, agriculture, transport, communications and other fields. She added that since 1995, China has invested nearly $900 million in Azerbaijan.
The Ambassador also said that industrial and agricultural parks were an important area of investment cooperation between the two countries.
“In recent years, they have attracted the attention of an increasing number of Chinese enterprises. Many of them are already familiar with the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park and other large Azerbaijani industrial parks and maintain contacts with the Azerbaijani side on participation in the construction of parks and other issues. Chinese enterprises have already appeared on the territory of the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park,” the Ambassador said. The Chinese side hopes that the Azerbaijani side will continue to provide Chinese enterprises with conditions for the implementation of cooperation in the construction of parks in Azerbaijan, Guo Min said.
While discussing the CCP’s Chairman Xi Jinping’s proposed Global Development Initiative, Guo Min said that Beijing hoped for Baku’s active role as a chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement at the UN in engaging multilateral cooperation mechanisms to “constructively participate in and cooperate with China’s Global Development Initiative to unite developing countries for common development and common prosperity”.
Chinese state media discusses EU’s relations with Georgia
Chinese state media now discusses the European Union’s relations with Georgia. On December 22, Chinese state-controlled newspaper Global Times published an article entitled “The European Union struggles to unite countries from Eastern Europe”.
It said that the European Union “extended its influence eastward after the 2008 War in South Ossetia” referring to the Russo-Georgian War of 2008. The author added that the EU was “tailoring the Eastern Partnership initiative for Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Using ‘access to the European market’ as bait, the EU required those countries to reform, modeling the ‘democracy’ and market economy of Western Europe, in order to encircle Russia and thoroughly transform the ‘post-Soviet space’.”
Armenia’s Education Ministry representative: Armenia attaches great importance to the development of relations with China
On December 22, the Chinese Embassy in Armenia held an online Chinese Language Learning and Teaching Award Ceremony, co-organized by The Confucius Institute at the Brusov State University in Yerevan, Armenia. The Ambassador of China in Armenia Fan Yong attended the event and delivered a speech.
The head of the Foreign Relations and Diaspora Department at the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia Arkadi Papoyan also attended the event. Arkadi Papoyan said that the Armenian government attached great importance to the development of friendly and cooperative relations with China.
The Ambassador said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Armenia, the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries have developed rapidly, cultural exchanges have continuously deepened and educational cooperation has become closer.
“I hope that all teachers and students will devote more enthusiasm to Chinese teaching and learning work, for the cause of friendship between China and Armenia, and make great efforts to be the inheritors of friendship, the spreaders of culture and developers of cooperation,” Fan Yong said.
Armenia issues stamp dedicated to 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP
Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong with Armenian representatives. Source: Armradio
Armenian post operator HayPost issued a postage stamp dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, Armradio reported on December 23.
Confucius Institute in Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan Research Center at the Chinese Anhui University gave a lecture
On December 21, the Confucius Institute at the Baku State University and the Azerbaijan Research Center at the Chinese Anhui University jointly gave a Contemporary Literature lecture of the Chinese Literature online lectures series.
Confucius Institute in Azerbaijan held an online event
On December 21, the Confucius Institute at the Azerbaijani University of Languages held an online seminar about the Winter Solstice festival, which was referred to as “a traditional Chinese festival”, Azertac reported.