Baku, April 6, AZERTAC
This year marks 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and China. AZERTAC has interviewed Chinese ambassador to Azerbaijan Wei Jinghua on this occasion.
The ambassador said that over the 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the People's Republic of China, regardless of various events that took place both on the international scene and in both countries, the Azerbaijani-Chinese ties have always developed normally, maintaining their activity.
“In the political sphere, China always supports independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, respects the development of the course chosen by the Azerbaijani people on the basis of their national values . The Azerbaijani side strongly supports the position of our country in issues related to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous areas of China. Our countries closely cooperate within the United Nations and other multilateral international frameworks. High-level ties between the two countries continue today, and mutual trust from the political point of view is gradually deepening,” he said.
Mr. Jinghua pointed out that currently the Chinese-Azerbaijani relations have entered a stage of dynamic development. “As part of the state visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to China in December 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding on the joint promotion of the Economic belt of the Silk Road was signed jointly with the Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping. This further strengthened the relations between the two countries. Cooperation between China and Azerbaijan in the economic sphere is developing steadily. In 1992, trade between the two countries was 1.5 million US dollars, in 2016 this figure increased 500 times, reaching 770 million US dollars. Despite the slowdown in the world economy and falling oil prices, the volume of trade between China and Azerbaijan increased by 15 percent. At present, China is one of the five major trade partners of Azerbaijan,” the ambassador said.
The diplomat emphasized that for 25 years humanitarian ties have also been developing steadily between the two countries. He said that there are two Confucius institutes functioning in Azerbaijan and interest in the Chinese language is rapidly growing.
Mr. Jinghua said that after the state visit of President Ilham Aliyev to China, bilateral cooperation between the two countries is expanding comprehensively. “In the future, the number of companies investing in Azerbaijan will increase. Cooperation between Azerbaijan and China in the field of transport, agriculture, communications and many other areas grows,” he said, adding that
Azerbaijan has also supported the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and has great potential to become a valuable partner in this project.
“Geographically, Azerbaijan is a very important country for the Silk Road project. The Chinese side highly appreciates the initiative and direct participation of Azerbaijan in transport infrastructure projects,” he said.
Speaking about the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which is expected to be commissioned this year, the ambassador said that China attaches great importance to the geographical advantages of Azerbaijan in an important transport hub in Eurasia. “In February of 2017, with the support of the Chinese side, Azerbaijan successfully organized a presentation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail transit route project and the Trans-Caspian international transport route in Beijing. I hope that the economic cooperation between China and Azerbaijan and other countries along this route will be further developed,” he said.
Touching upon the prospects of the Azerbaijani-Chinese relations in the field of ICT, agriculture and tourism, the Chinese ambassador said that China, as a large agrarian country, has extensive experience in agriculture and many other branches of agriculture and is interested in establishing ties with the Azerbaijani side in this field. “Rich natural resources, favorable soil and climatic conditions of Azerbaijan are very effective for the development of agriculture. High-quality fruit and vegetable products and wines are produced in Azerbaijan. The Chinese side supports local enterprises in the import of these products from Azerbaijan and mutual investments in agricultural sector, in the field of economic and technical cooperation,” he pointed out.
The ambassador said that China is also interested in the participation of Chinese enterprises in various investment projects that are being implemented in the territory of industrial parks in Azerbaijan.
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