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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News from December 8
Armenian Minister of Labor and Chinese Ambassador discuss cooperation
A photo from the meeting. Source: Armenpress
On December 8, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia, Narek Mkrtchyan, met with the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia, Fan Yong. Armenpress reported that during the meeting, the directions of cooperation in the labor and social protection fields were discussed, in particular, a number of issues aimed at increasing the quality of services provided to children, the full establishment of the Unified Social Service, and the development of social housing.
Mkrtchyan "highly appreciated the effective cooperation with the Chinese Embassy" noting that the meeting was another opportunity for the development of sectoral cooperation. "We value the study and exchange of Chinese best practice and knowledge in various areas of social protection. We hope that the cooperation will be continuous and we will record the desired result." he said.
Reportedly, the Ambassador also emphasized the both sides' efforts to expand the scope of cooperation, expressing readiness to take continuous steps in this direction: "Now Armenia is in a difficult period. There are many families who need support, and the Chinese Embassy will do its best to provide them with the necessary assistance."
19.12.2022 – 25.12.2022
Xi Jinping attaches great importance to the development of China-Azerbaijani relations
The CCP Chairman Xi Jinping congratulated Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on his birthday, Azernews reported on December 22.
"Over the past years, China-Azerbaijan relations have continued to develop in a healthy and stable manner. Our cooperation in various fields is successfully and fruitfully moving forward. In September this year, we successfully held a meeting in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, at which important agreements were reached on developing bilateral relations, strengthening interaction in the international arena, and deepening cooperation within the framework of the One Belt, One Road initiative," Xi wrote to Aliyev.
According to the letter, Xi attaches great importance to the development of China-Azerbaijani relations and is ready to work with Aliyev to promote "the sustainable and long-term development of bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation" for the benefit of the two countries and peoples.
Armenia's Defense Deputy Minister and Chinese Ambassador "highly appreciate" bilateral cooperation
A photo from the meeting. Sources: Armenia's Defense Ministry
The Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, the First Deputy Minister of Defense, Major General Edward Asryan received the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia, Fan Fong, the Ministry reported on December 19.
Reportedly, the sides "highly appreciated" the level of bilateral cooperation, including in the defense sector.
The two sides expressed willingness to continue cooperation in "peacekeeping, military education, and medicine", as well as in the organization of mutual visits of high-ranking delegations.
China welcomes Russia's work in Armenia-Azerbaijan issue resolution
According to the United Nations December 20 report, the Deputy Permanent Representative and Ambassador of China to the United Nations Geng Shuang said that relevant disputes surrounding the Lachin Corridor should be resolved through dialogue and consultations. "Welcoming the Russian Federation's work towards this end, he expressed hope that disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Corridor will be resolved as soon as possible," the UN report said.
Geng Shuang said that achieving shared security and development through cooperation was in the interests of both countries. Geng Shuang also said that, in recent years, trilateral statements between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia "regarding the cessation of hostilities, economic and transportation cooperation, and border issues demonstrated the political will of Baku and Yerevan to resolve disputes through political and diplomatic means".
Reportedly, the Chinese diplomat encouraged the two countries to meet each other halfway and properly resolve disputes according to international law. Geng Shuang added that China supported any diplomatic efforts that contributed to this goal and would continue to play "a constructive role towards this end".
In January-November 2022, China was Georgia's third-biggest trading partner
In January-November 2022, China was Georgia's third-biggest trading partner with a $1 678.4 million turnover (9.9% of the total Georgian trade), Geostat reported on December 19.
China was Georgia's biggest trading partner by exports with $660.7 million, which is 13.1% of total exports, and compared to the same period last year there was a 16.1% growth.
China was the third-biggest import partner of Georgia with $1 017.7 million (8.5% of total imports). Compared to January-November 2021, that was a 28.7% growth.
The Chinese Ambassador and Armenia's Education Minister discuss cooperation
A photo from the meeting. Source: News.am
According to News.am December 23 report, during a meeting with the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Armenia Zhanna Andreasyan the Chinese Ambassador to Armenia Fan Yong said that the right of children of Nagorno-Karabakh to education was violated. Reportedly, the Ambassador expressed hope that this issue would be resolved as soon as possible.
He also said that there was a great potential for cooperation between Armenia and China.
The Ambassador gave assurance that if necessary, the Chinese side was ready to increase the number of scholarship spots at Chinese universities allocated to Armenian youth.
The Minister also stressed the "importance of developing Armenian-Chinese relations and cooperation", including the activities of the Armenian-Chinese Friendship School.
Azertac and Confucius Institute discuss implementation of new joint projects
A photo from the meeting. Source: Azertac
The Azertac Chairman of the Board Vugar Aliyev and the Director of the Confucius Institute Wang Haoqiang discussed the implementation of new joint projects, Azertac reported on December 22.
Reportedly, Azertac and China's Confucius Institute cooperated for almost eight years and teachers of the Confucius Institute organized Chinese language courses for the agency's employees.
"The sides emphasized that the ever-improving close friendship between the two countries plays a huge role in this close partnership," the report said.
In 2022, Azertac and Confucius Institute co-organized a drawing competition and exhibition on the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and China. They agreed to continue organizing Chinese language courses for the coming year.
China is Azerbaijan's third-biggest import partner
In January-November 2022, China was Azerbaijan's third-biggest import partner (1.8 billion), Azernews reported on December 20.