“We have right to choose wo our strategic partner”- Messages delivered by Ambassador of China to Georgia

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The Conference on “The Opportunities for development of China-Georgia relations” was organized with the cooperation of the Embassy of China, the Center for Strategic Analysis and the Organization “GeoCase” in Tbilisi. The aim of the meeting was to discover new opportunities for future cooperation between China and Georgia and to promote bilateral collaboration in different fields.

The conference speakers discussed the new ways of building relations between China and Georgia. It was repeatedly noted that Georgia has a pivotal role in terms of establishment of new relations and development of the Middle Corridor amid existing global challenges which are due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

During the conference the Ambassador of China marked that Georgia also has an important role in strengthening logistics relations between China and Europe.

“The diversification of logistics capabilities between China and Europe is of paramount importance for the Belt and Road initiative, while the Middle Corridor is important for China-Europe logistics because we have no other choice but the Northern Line.

It means that the security of transport between China and the EU is not what it should be. Consequently, the Middle Corridor might be very important. The Middle Corridor is not just about logistics, we want to benefit from tourism as well. As we say in China, if you want to get rich, build roads first. So, the Middle Corridor is important for the future prosperity of Georgia”, said the Ambassador of China in an interview with journalists.

Additionally, the conference which is being held today in Tbilisi is related to the tenth anniversary of the “One Belt and One Road” initiative, China’s modernization and new opportunities for China-Georgia relations.

“This is ultimately important since China and Georgia declared a treaty on strategic partnership only a month before. This means that bilateral relations have reached a new stage. This means more investments, contacts, especially in relation with the Middle Corridor, “One Road and One Belt” which has been elevated to a new level. In my opinion, this is important not only for China, but for Georgia too” the Ambassador of China said.

According to Chou Tsien Chinese companies have no issue in terms of getting involved in the construction of Anaklia Port or other projects.

“Honestly Chinese companies and Chinese enterprises have interests in all infrastructural projects such as “Belt and Road” and “Middle Corridor”. If there are proper conditions, Chinese companies have no issue with getting involved in the construction of Anaklia Port or other projects”, Chou Tsien said.

The ambassador said that China supports the territorial integrity of Georgia, and “some people” are “deliberately misleading” the society regarding the text of the strategic partnership treaty.

“Some people are deliberately trying to mislead the society regarding the document. We have always supported the territorial integrity of Georgia, and this has been reiterated in number of agreements signed between the governments of the two countries.

There were some questions regarding Georgia to join “Global Security Initiative”. This is very important initiative which is about respecting the UN Charter and principles. This means that China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. This is the most important principle of Chinese policy. And that is why Georgia supported it. Hence, the people who are saying that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not mentioned in the text of the treaty is a deliberate attempt to mislead the society” Chou Tsien said.

To the question of journalists whether China recognizes that these territories are occupied or not, he replied:” China has always recognized the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia as recognized by the United Nations.”

As a reminder, Georgia and China built a strategic partnership in the summer of 2023, during Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s visit to China.

The very first paragraph of the treaty states that the parties reaffirm respect for “the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries”.

This is followed by a record according to which “Georgia firmly supports the principle of the unified China”, that is, it recognizes that Taiwan, which has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949, is an integral part of China, and indicates that it supports the reunification of China.