While everyone else tries to become more economically independent from China, Georgia again takes another turn, MEP Viola Von Cramon ironically responded to the statements made about the visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, to China and the importance of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“While everyone else tries to become more economically independent from China, Georgia again takes another turn. Helping Russia with circumventing the sanctions, deepening the economic ties with China, that all looks like the right turn towards Europe/EU … *irony off*”, the MEP tweeted.
Georgian Government Administration released a joint statement on the establishment of a strategic partnership between Georgia and China. The document comprises 4 domains: political, economic, people-to-people/cultural, and international.
The statement says that from July 26 to August 1, 2023, Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, attended the opening ceremony of the 31st Chengdu FISU World University Games in China. During the visit, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in Chengdu and Premier Li Qiang met with the PM in Beijing.
The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest and reached a broad consensus. The two sides decided to elevate bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.
Both sides share the view that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on June 9, 1992, bilateral cooperation has witnessed fruitful results in various fields. In the context of profound and complex evolution of the international and regional situation, both sides share the commitment to expanding cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields, strengthening collaboration in international affairs, deepening bilateral relations, and safeguarding regional and world peace, stability and development together.
1.1 The two sides reaffirm their respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries. Georgia firmly adheres to the one-China principle.
1.2 The two sides highlighted that given the current international order and economic globalization, the bilateral ties between China and Georgia have gained considerable importance. Both sides regard each other as an important strategic partner and thus regard the deepening of bilateral relations as a priority of their respective foreign policies.
1.3 Georgia believes that Chinese modernization offers a new path and a new option for mankind to achieve modernization. Both sides expressed their readiness to exchange experience in governance to achieve common development and prosperity.
1.4 The two sides are ready to strengthen high-level political consultations on issues of mutual interest and to enhance strategic mutual trust.
1.5 Both sides emphasized the necessity of expanding ties between central and local governments and political groups and parties to exchange experiences and strengthen interactions in various fields.
1.6 Considering the important role of cooperation between legislative bodies of both countries in the expansion and development of the bilateral ties, both sides emphasized the enhancement of exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ legislative bodies in various fields and levels and communication and consultation in relevant regional and international organizations.
2. Economic domain
2.1 Both sides welcomed steady growth of bilateral trade in recent years and expressed readiness to further increase bilateral trade, optimize its structure, expand types of products and increase the export of Georgian goods and services to China.
2.2 Georgia welcomes the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China. The two sides have signed documents including the Bilateral Cooperation Plan between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Georgia under the Framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, to gain greater strengths and opportunities of cooperation. The two sides will strengthen policy coordination and synergy of development planning under the Belt and Road Initiative, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, uphold the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, and promote open, green and clean cooperation to realize goals of Belt and Road cooperation and promote sustainable development of both sides.
2.3 Both sides expressed readiness to facilitate mutual investment and trade and promote cooperation in the areas of transportation, communications, infrastructure modernization, development and strengthening of the Middle Corridor, digital technologies, manufacturing, upgrading and expansion of railway networks, agriculture and food safety, water resources, environment protection, fighting desertification, water desalination, conformity assessment, usage of Georgia’s transit infrastructure for smooth export of Chinese products to Western markets, the exchange of know-how and technology as well as human resource training.
2.4 The People’s Republic of China and Georgia have enjoyed a Free Trade Agreement since 2018, which played an important role in promoting economic and trade relations between the two countries. The two countries will continue to enhance their cooperation in the framework of the Agreement, support economic and commercial exchanges between the two countries’ institutions and companies based on mutual benefit, and actively explore the possibility of enriching the Agreement.
2.5 Both sides expressed their readiness for the next session of the China-Georgia Economic and Trade Cooperation Commission to enhance information sharing in trade, investment, infrastructure and other topics of cooperation within the scope of the Commission, so as to enhance the quality and efficiency of bilateral exchanges.
2.6 China welcomes Georgia’s active participation in the China International Import Expo. China supports Georgian enterprises in promoting their products via Chinese e-commerce channels.
2.7 Both sides expressed their readiness to intensify cooperation in tourism to promote common development of the sector. China welcomes Georgia to participate in travel exhibitions such as the annual China International Travel Mart.
2.8 China highlights the importance and supports the 4th Tbilisi Silk Road Forum themed “Connecting Today, Resilient Tomorrow”,which will take place in Tbilisi on October 26-27, 2023.
2.9 Georgia views cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries as a pragmatic, open and beneficial cross-regional cooperation platform. China welcomes Georgia’s interest in engaging in activities under the framework of this cooperative mechanism as an observer.
2.10 China will study the provisions of preferential loans for Georgia’s implementation of social and infrastructure projects.
3. People-to-People and Cultural domain
3.1 Given the need to deepen bilateral relations under the new conditions, both sides expressed readiness to actively conduct scientific and technological cooperation and renew the agreement on cooperation in the field of science and technology signed between the People’s Republic of China and Georgia in 1993.
3.2 In view of their friendly relations and huge potential of cooperation in the people-to-people and cultural fields, the two sides agreed to enhance their cultural cooperation. They will encourage citizens to visit each other’s countries and strengthen cooperation in tourism, health, youth, and sports. In addition, they will also enhance their exchanges in the areas of film, press and public diplomacy.
3.3 The two sides will study the possibility of mutually designating cultural years, and continue their consultations regarding mutual establishment of cultural center and provide necessary facilitation.
3.4 The two sides will enhance their cooperation in science and higher education. They will promote exchange of teachers and students, strengthen cooperation in science and commercialization of new technologies and implement joint projects.
3.5 The two sides support universities in both countries in carrying out practical cooperation such as joint training programs, and encourage universities to make full use of high-quality digital education resources and combine online and offline channels for cooperation. The two sides will promote student exchange and joint cultivation by making good use of government scholarships and other channels.
3.6 Both sides attach importance to language exchange and cooperation, encourage schools of both countries to carry out Chinese and Georgian languages teaching, stand ready to strengthen exchanges and training of language teachers and support the building of Confucius Institutes (Classrooms).
4. International domain
4.1 The two sides will strengthen coordination and collaboration in regional and international affairs, jointly uphold true multilateralism, firmly uphold the UN-centered international system, the international order based on international law, and the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and promote the establishment of a new type of international relations.
4.2 The two sides support the promotion of humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, respect all people’s independent choice of development path suited to their national conditions, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
4.3 Georgia supports the Global Development Initiative proposed by China and is ready to actively participate in cooperation under the Initiative to accelerate implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
4.4 Georgia supports the Global Security Initiative proposed by China. The two sides would like to strengthen exchanges and cooperation under the Initiative’s framework, make joint effort for a peaceful and stable international security environment, and promote and protect common development of countries in the region.
4.5 Georgia supports the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by China. The two sides will cooperate actively to implement this Initiative.