30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Armenia and China
Sergey Manasaryan

Editor's note: Decision Makers is a global platform for decision makers to share their insights on events shaping today's world. Sergey Manasaryan is the ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the People's Republic of China. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The year 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the People's Republic of China. As it is known, the ties between Armenian and Chinese peoples are rooted in the distant past, and China is mentioned already in the works of medieval Armenian historians.

In medieval Armenian sources, there are references to the geography of China, and the city of Dvin, one of the capitals of Armenia, was a major center of Chinese silk trade on the Silk Road, which served as a bridge between East and West and fostered civilizational exchanges, facilitating economic and cultural interactions.

The Armenian-Chinese friendly relations have passed the test of time and have always been distinguished by mutual trust and great respect. Today, the development of friendly relations with China is one of the priorities of Armenia's external relations.

After the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, the cooperation between our countries, based on friendly collaboration and mutual benefit, progressively expanded and deepened from year to year, involving new areas.

A high-level political dialogue, close inter-parliamentary ties have been established, and interaction between the different institutions of Armenia and China is carried out in almost all areas of political, economic and cultural life, indicating a high degree of mutual interest. During the meeting in May 2019, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to further deepen and strengthen Armenian-Chinese multifaceted cooperation in many areas.

Armenia is a predictable and reliable partner. The continuity of the country's foreign policy is one of the factors for ensuring long-term stability. Today, in the world, especially in the regions close to Armenia, centers of turmoil and instability have arisen, which have a dangerous tendency to spread. Armenia and many other countries feel the negative consequences of these processes; therefore, we attach great importance to consistent international dialogue aimed at strengthening peace and security. War, extremism and terrorism cannot be a means of solving existing problems, and everything possible must be done to preserve and strengthen international security and stability.

With this regard, the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue remains urgent for us. Security and peace can be ensured only through the efforts and the will of all parties involved. Armenia remains devoted to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group framework and stands ready to institute long-lasting peace and stability in the region. China has always expressed its support to the peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Armenia has always been committed to the one-China principle and consistently supports China in this cause. The positive sentiment of the Chinese government towards our country has been palpable during our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We joined our efforts in combating the pandemic, receiving valuable assistance from China.

Workers transfer medical supplies from China at the Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan, Armenia, April 8, 2020. /Xinhua

Workers transfer medical supplies from China at the Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan, Armenia, April 8, 2020. /Xinhua

The pandemic has considerably affected our cooperation dynamic; projects have been suspended or temporarily frozen. Notwithstanding, we are confidently taking steps to regain and perhaps even surpass the 2019 figures. The trade turnover during the last two years showed stable indicators. In 2020, an increase in Armenian exports to China was recorded at the level of 50 percent, whereas in 2021, the increase in trade turnover in comparison to 2020, reached 31 percent, including 36 percent growth in exports.

Successful promotion of one of the most famous Armenian brands – Ararat brandy - has kicked off on the Chinese market. Entry visa liberalization agreement signed in 2019 further facilitated interpersonal exchange between Armenia and China.

The wide range legal framework serves as a good basis for further development of mutually beneficial economic partnership, security cooperation, people to people ties and cultural exchange, collaboration in the fields of education and science.

Nowadays, we witness the new concept of the Silk Road in the format of the Belt and Road Initiative, which has become impetus for fostering connectivity, mobility and people-to-people contacts. The opportunities of diverse cooperation within the framework of this initiative have their particular place in our agenda and are of great interest for Armenia.

Besides, China's technical and economic assistance has helped Armenia modernize such areas as public transport, healthcare, education, television, agriculture and other areas, for which we are very grateful.

Achievements in the spheres of culture, science and education have also been recorded during these years. We have witnessed the spread of the Chinese language, history and culture in Armenia, which commenced over a decade ago with the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Yerevan. The establishment of the Armenian-Chinese Friendship School symbolizes our joint commitment to the future of our relations. We note with satisfaction that positive dynamic has been constantly present in our countries' relations.

Looking forward, we express our willingness to join efforts with our Chinese counterparts to resuscitate our cooperation and cultivate new accomplishments in the bilateral agenda.

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