China-Georgia Friendship Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations

On June 9, at Rike Park, diplomats celebrated the 25th anniversary of Georgian-Chinese bilateral relations. It was organized by international media holding GBTIMES Georgia and the Chinese Embassy in Georgia, and supported by Tbilisi City Hall.  

All day long visitors at Rike Park had the opportunity to see and purchase Chines goods, as well as attend master-classes of traditional martial arts, sample Chinese dishes, see Chinese costumes, as well as shows, exhibitions and concerts.

The event included an official ceremony solemnly opened by Ji Yanchi, Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary of People’s Republic of China in Georgia. He thanked all the involved parties for organizing the event. “On this exact day 25 years ago, “Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” between the Governments of China and Georgia was signed in Tbilisi. A new era for China-Georgia relations has dawned. We support each other on major issues concerning sovereignty and territorial integrity. Our two countries hold respectful and equal attitudes towards each other, and carry out cooperation on mutually beneficial basis. We have sound cooperation in international affairs and have established an exemplary model of friendly cooperative relations between two countries.”

The first Chinese diplomat remarked that the two countries enjoy very fruitful outcomes in economic cooperation. In May, the Free Trade Agreement was officially signed between the Chinese and Georgian governments. “It brings new prospects for the expansion of trade-economic cooperation.At the beginning of our diplomatic relations, the trade turnover stood at 3.68 million USD whereas, in 2016 it reached 717 million USD, growing 200 times. China is Georgia’s fourth largest trading trading partner and the second largest exporting market for Georgian wine. Chinese FDI in Georgia stands at 600 million USD.”  

According to H.E. JI Yanchi, during the past 25 years, interpersonal relations Chinese people and Georgian people have become increasingly close. “Cultural and artistic groups exchange visits every year. The Confucius Institute at Tbilisi Free University was opened with cooperation between the two countries. Chinese language courses are offered in 26 universities and secondary schools of Georgia. Every year, 25 Georgian students continue their studies at the Chinese universities under the Chinese Government Scholarship. Every year, 20 Chinese language teachers and volunteers come to Georgia to assist teaching Chinese language and culture. Georgia already has more than a thousand local Chinese speaking students. In 2016, over 10 thousand Chinese tourists visited Georgia, with the number increased by 46%.”

The ambassador also emphasized economic collaboration,The Khadori hydropower station constructed by the Chinese was the first power station constructed and the first large-scale foreign investment after Georgia’s independence. Chinese companies have built 82.1 kilometers of roads, 40.6 kilometers of railway, and provided a railway modernization technical solutions for Georgia. According to statistics, Chinese companies have created about 5,000 jobs for Georgians. China has also provided 60 million USD of free aid to support the social and economic development of Georgia.”

Reportedly,with joint efforts, China and Georgia have achieved a very good start toward building the Silk Road Economic Belt. “China and Georgia made significant progresses in policy coordination, unimpeded trade, facilities connectivity, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds. In May, a delegation from the Georgian government attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing. This visit was very successful.” In the ambassador’s words, currently, the China-Georgia relations face promising prospects. We are ready to work with the government and people of Georgia, to grasp the historical opportunity provided by the Belt and Road Initiatives. We will steadily promote our Belt and Road cooperation based on the principles of mutual discussion, joint construction and shared benefits. We will further enhance political trust, deepen friendship; expand the mutual beneficial cooperation; intensify cultural exchange, strengthen international cooperation. Together, we will write a new chapter of the friendly cooperative relations between China and Georgia. I wish China and Georgia prosperity, wish the two peoples happiness and health!May the friendship between our countries last forever! Thank you!”

Then, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili made a speech who mentioned that our friendship and partnership are based on principles of mutual respect and cooperation, naturally highlighting basically the same major projects and achievements:

“Today the partnership between our countries is stronger than ever, as clearly evidenced by our growing bilateral cooperation, high-level visits to both Georgia and China, and the tangible results of cooperation.”

Kvirikashvili mentioned China as one of Georgia’s largest trade partners and investors.

“The recent historic Free Trade Agreement between Georgia and China, which was signed in Beijing, is poised to advance our trade and economic cooperation to a new qualitative level. Notably, Georgia is the first country in the region to have signed this agreement with China. We welcome Chinese companies launching their business activities in Georgia in steadily growing numbers, with some of them having already gained a foothold in the Georgian market. New directions of economic cooperation are springing up. One such direction involves building joint plants to manufacture Georgian-Chinese products. Georgia’s business community is taking increasingly growing interest in the vast opportunities offered by the Chinese market,” noted the Premier.

In his words, all these achievements are complemented by the One Belt—One Road project of global importance initiated by Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Reportedly, this project creates new prospects of deeper relations between our two countries and enhanced regional cooperation in general. Georgia, as a bridge connecting European and Asian markets, prioritizes its engagement in this initiative.

“At the same time, our humanitarian cooperation is developing equally rapidly, and so are people-to-people contacts. We are actively working together with our Chinese partners to deepen our tourism cooperation, so that more Chinese tourists may visit Georgia, and more Georgians may enjoy this country famous for its unique culture and traditions.

“I am convinced that our joint efforts will further expand and cement the friendship and business relations between our countries,” Giorgi Kvirikashvili concluded.

The event was attended also by the Tbilisi Mayor and other officials.

Source of the photo:

13 June 2017 17:50