Azerbaijan-China ties: Enjoying opportunities by a shared future
Updated 18:32, 20-Mar-2023
Akram Zeynalli
Azerbaijan-China ties: Enjoying opportunities by a shared future

Azerbaijan-China ties Enjoying opportunities by a shared future.mp3


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

The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the concept of "community of shared future for mankind," put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping. By launching this initiative, China proposes to promote peaceful development in the world and form a more harmonious and just world order.

It is obvious that the world is facing with many serious challenges and threats, including the outbreak of war and conflicts, food security, climate change, environmental pollution and international crime. Indeed, it is impossible to overcome all these global challenges and threats alone or with the efforts of a few countries, but with joint action and cooperation of all states in the world.

This approach is also enshrined in the thoughts of President Xi Jinping: "Today, we live in a world with different cultures, ethnic groups, skin colors, religions and social systems, and the people of various countries have become members of an intimate community of shared destiny."

While analyzing these ideas, along with the cooperation two other components come out: the diversity of today's world and the interdependence of different countries. That is why other global initiatives proposed by President Xi, such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, promote the joint action, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. According to Chinese philosophy, only mutually beneficial cooperation can develop relations between countries, improve people's welfare, bring progress and prosperity to countries, which in turn can make the world a safer and more beautiful place to live.

In this regard, the importance of the BRI should be mentioned specifically and analyzed carefully. Since 2013, it has been a very attractive cooperation project, which boosted economic and social welfare in many participating countries and proved its viability with concrete results.

First of all, it should be emphasized that the BRI brings countries and peoples closer to each other and deepens not only economic ties, but also people-to-people exchanges. The unifying spirit of the ancient Silk Road, which played an exceptional role in the expansion of trade and cultural relations between China and other countries can be seen in the implementation of the BRI today. It is no coincidence that the BRI, which received wide international support from the first moment of its announcement, was also supported by the Republic of Azerbaijan, which made its significant contribution to the successful implementation of the project.

With the signing of the "Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the joint promotion of the Silk Road Economic Belt" within the framework of the state visit of the President Ilham Aliyev to China in December 2015, Azerbaijan joined the process of the realization of this global initiative and made its own contribution to the successful implementation of  the BRI, which provides new opportunities for the development of Azerbaijan-China bilateral relations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at Forumlar Majmuasi Complex in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, September 15, 2022. /Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at Forumlar Majmuasi Complex in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, September 15, 2022. /Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at Forumlar Majmuasi Complex in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, September 15, 2022. /Xinhua

Azerbaijan's location at the intersection of the East-West and North-South international transport corridors, in a strategic geographical position, as well as the formation of modern transport infrastructure in our country, have made our country an important partner for the BRI, and thus for China. In this regard, commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and Baku International Sea Trade Port, as well as the formation of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), can be considered as the most important contribution of Azerbaijan to the realization of the BRI.

As it is known, one of the most attractive routes for cargo transportation from China to Europe and back through is the TITR. Especially due to the geopolitical processes taking place in the world in recent times, Chinese companies began to show greater interest in transportation along the TITR, and a significant increase in transportation along the mentioned route was observed last year. Undoubtedly, this positive trend will continue in the near future, the rapid expansion of cargo transportation from China to Europe and vice versa along the TITR will be witnessed, and thus the strategic position of Azerbaijan within the framework of the BRI project will be significantly strengthened.

As it was emphasized earlier, the BRI, in addition to developing trade-economic and transport-logistics relations between China and the countries participating in the mentioned project, also made an important contribution to the development of people-to-people exchanges and thereby promoting friendship between people.

The history of Azerbaijan-China relations goes back to the ancient Silk Road. As early as 2500 years ago, along with the trade relations, there were also active cultural relations between our people through the ancient Silk Road. The historical connection between our peoples is also reflected in the works written by the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi in the 12th century. By the description of "Chinese beauty" in his poem "Seven beauties" Poet Nizami Ganjavi expressed his respect and admiration for the Chinese people. Built on such a solid foundation, Azerbaijan-China relations are currently developing successfully, bringing our peoples closer to each other and strengthening friendship and solidarity between them.

Today Azerbaijan-China bilateral relations are characterized as multifaceted partnership relations based on friendship, mutual respect and trust, with high development dynamics. Azerbaijan considers expanding and deepening its relations with China as one of the main priorities of its foreign policy, and activities in this direction are of strategic importance for us. It can be stated with certainty that Azerbaijan-China relations are currently at such a stage of development that there is no area in bilateral relations where active cooperation is not found. It gives us a reason to say that Azerbaijan-China relations have essentially reached a new stage in recent years and are experiencing the brightest period in its history.

As is known, the political dialogue organized at the level of heads of state plays an exceptional role in the development of relations between countries. It is gratifying that the basis of the current dynamic development of Azerbaijan-China relations is the active political dialogue based on mutual respect and trust between President Ilham Aliyev and President Xi Jinping.

In last September, during the meeting between the presidents of two countries within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit held in Samarkand, the strategic importance of our bilateral relations was emphasized and it was decided to make efforts to raise our cooperation to a new stage. There is no doubt that the important decisions made at the level of the heads of state during the last meeting will serve as a road map for us and will enable us to achieve new noticeable results in the political, trade-economic, transport-logistics, cultural and other fields of our bilateral relations in the near future.

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