China's expanding influence in Azerbaijan amid shifting global trade routes
    Beijing military in Baku as global trade routes shift

    ANALYTICS  17 June 2024 - 15:55

    Fuad Muxtar-Agbabali

    The ongoing visit of the General Directorate of International Military Cooperation of the Chinese People's Liberation Army to Azerbaijan is more than a routine diplomatic engagement. While the official statement remains formal, discussing military cooperation and mutual interests, the implications are far-reaching, especially given the current state of international transport routes.

    The Context: Disruption of traditional trade routes

    Traditional trade routes from China to Europe have been increasingly destabilized, particularly by conflicts in the Middle East, such as the disruptions caused by the Houthis. These challenges have paralyzed formerly reliable routes, compelling nations and corporations to seek alternative pathways to maintain and enhance trade flows. Against this backdrop, China’s strategic moves in the Caucasus region, particularly in Azerbaijan and Georgia, are significant.

    Strategic moves in the Caucasus

    A key development is the selection of the Chinese consortium China Communication Construction LTD to construct the deep-sea Georgian port of Anaklia. Owning 49% of this project underscores China's intention to establish a robust logistical and transport foothold in the region. This investment aligns with Beijing's broader strategy to circumvent access issues in Europe by creating a "middle corridor" through Azerbaijan and Georgia as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

    In 2023, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China surged by 47.5%, amounting to $2.5 billion. China has surpassed Turkey as Azerbaijan's second-largest import partner, a testament to the deepening economic ties between the two nations. Chinese firms are significantly involved in Azerbaijan’s renewable energy sector, with Dongfang constructing the 230 MW Garadagh solar power plant and China Gezhouba Group Overseas Investment developing 2 GW of renewable energy projects, including green hydrogen production.

    Renewable energy and technological integration

    The collaboration extends into technological advancements and green energy. Azerbaijani Presidential aide Hikmat Haciyev has highlighted the benefits of Chinese green technologies in the country's renewable energy projects. President Ilham Aliyev has also underscored China's role in developing Azerbaijan's electric vehicle market, further cementing the bilateral relationship.

    Azerbaijan is strategically leveraging China’s growing presence to enhance its geopolitical standing. Azerbaijan aims to capitalize on the global shift in economic power from West to East by positioning itself as a key player in the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor. This corridor is a critical component of the BRI and a crucial gateway for Chinese enterprises to access the Caucasus and EU markets. The mutual interest between Baku and Beijing creates a foundation for a beneficial partnership.

    Despite the promising developments, there are inherent concerns about China’s increasing influence. Questions arise about whether China might dominate its relationship with Azerbaijan and impose its own behavior models. These concerns are rooted in historical apprehensions about China’s global strategies. However, China’s diplomatic principles over the past two decades emphasize non-confrontation and non-export of ideology. Beijing’s policies in bilateral relations are not directed against third countries, aiming instead for mutually beneficial cooperation.

    China’s serious intentions and Azerbaijan’s opportunities

    China’s interest in Azerbaijan is driven by its strategic and economic significance. Beijing’s investments and projects in Azerbaijan are aimed at long-term profitability rather than political maneuvering. This provides Baku with opportunities to navigate potential pitfalls in agreements with China, ensuring that the partnership remains balanced and advantageous.

    Conclusion: A new era of cooperation

    The visit of Chinese military officials to Azerbaijan symbolizes the broader strategic alignment between the two countries. As traditional trade routes face increasing challenges, China and Azerbaijan are pioneering new pathways that promise economic growth and stability. The deepening cooperation in military, economic, and technological sectors highlights a transformative phase in their bilateral relations.

    Azerbaijan’s pivotal role in the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor and its integration into the BRI is central to this transformation. The increasing trade turnover, significant renewable energy projects, and strategic investments underscore the mutual benefits of this partnership. While concerns about China’s influence persist, Azerbaijan’s strategic positioning and diplomatic acumen provide it with the leverage to ensure that the relationship remains equitable and productive.

    As global trade dynamics evolve, the China-Azerbaijan partnership exemplifies how nations can adapt and thrive amidst changing geopolitical landscapes. The new routes through the Caucasus not only offer alternative pathways for trade but also herald a new era of cooperation and development, reinforcing Azerbaijan’s status as a key player in regional and global geopolitics.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Phantom arms deal: How false claims aim to derail Baku-Tehran diplomacy Azerbaijan embraces "forewarned is forearmed" principle

25 July 2024 - 15:34

Notorious Ocampo calls for another anti-Azerbaijani campaign ahead of COP29 Tactics behind & motives remain unchanged

25 July 2024 - 12:40

Another invitation to peace: Armenia must act decisively for lasting resolution Baku remains open to constructive talks

25 July 2024 - 10:32

US-Armenian military drills: Peacemaking or wake-up call? Stabilization cloaking aggravation

25 July 2024 - 13:18

Palestinian unity deal: Illusion or path to peace? A day after

24 July 2024 - 14:56

Ocampo's misguided call: Former ICC prosecutor's absurd appeal to Armenians Exploiting COP29 for false narratives

24 July 2024 - 13:08
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Expert: Pressure on media increasing in Armenia

    25 July 2024 - 16:52

    Official: Armenia's sudden EU membership would lead to economic collapse

    25 July 2024 - 16:39

    Australian journalists refuse to cover Paris Olympics amidst strike action

    "No way to do more for less"

    25 July 2024 - 16:26

    Azerbaijan repels Armenian drone reconnaissance attempt near Tovuz

    25 July 2024 - 16:20

    Azerbaijan-Serbia Intergovernmental Commission to meet in Belgrade in 2025

    25 July 2024 - 16:14

    Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan to begin laying fibre-optic communication line

    25 July 2024 - 16:13

    Armenia prepares response to Baku's peace treaty proposals

    25 July 2024 - 16:09

    Turkish army neutralizes over 1,500 terrorists since January 2024

    VIDEO

    25 July 2024 - 16:00

    Yerevan court holds hearing for Armenia's ex-president Kocharyan's son

    25 July 2024 - 15:47

    Phantom arms deal: How false claims aim to derail Baku-Tehran diplomacy

    Azerbaijan embraces "forewarned is forearmed" principle

    25 July 2024 - 15:34

    Azerbaijan-Serbia trade turnover rises fivefold

    25 July 2024 - 15:21

    Lithuania to receive €150 million from EU for border strengthening

    25 July 2024 - 15:21

    SOCAR, KazMunayGas heads discuss strategic partnership & oil transit

    25 July 2024 - 15:09

    Azerbaijan as a peace broker: Navigating the Israel-Hezbollah tensions

    Article by BESA

    25 July 2024 - 14:56

    Can Biden revive the Iran nuclear deal?

    Caliber.Az on YouTube

    25 July 2024 - 14:41

    Azerbaijan & Serbia boost economic ties in Baku meeting

    25 July 2024 - 14:26

    Israeli military hits Hezbollah sites in Lebanon

    25 July 2024 - 14:25

    Azerbaijani naval cadets undergo intensive practical training

    PHOTO/VIDEO

    25 July 2024 - 14:12

    Türkiye assumes command of Combined Task Force in Gulf of Aden

    PHOTO

    25 July 2024 - 13:59

    Armenian, US discuss Yerevan-Baku relations, peace initiatives

    25 July 2024 - 13:46

    How long will Russia's war with Ukraine last?

    Fitch forecast

    25 July 2024 - 13:32

    Envoy: Kazakhstan to hand over CICA chairmanship to Azerbaijan at COP29

    25 July 2024 - 13:19

    US-Armenian military drills: Peacemaking or wake-up call?

    Stabilization cloaking aggravation

    25 July 2024 - 13:18

    Netherlands, Denmark to supply 14 Leopard tanks to Ukraine

    25 July 2024 - 13:05

    Armenian pro-Western platform to launch signature campaign for EU membership referendum

    25 July 2024 - 12:53

    Notorious Ocampo calls for another anti-Azerbaijani campaign ahead of COP29

    Tactics behind & motives remain unchanged

    25 July 2024 - 12:40

    Russian, Syrian leaders discuss situation in Middle East

    25 July 2024 - 12:28

    British PM backs military aid, NATO membership for Ukraine

    25 July 2024 - 12:15

    Azerbaijan, Israel discuss expansion of cooperation in digital technologies

    PHOTO

    25 July 2024 - 12:02

    New war will erase Armenia’s sovereignty, pundits warn

    Yerevan's risky moves could backfire

    25 July 2024 - 11:49

    New report unveils security failures in Trump rally shooting incident

    25 July 2024 - 11:36

    Two men killed in helicopter crash in Australia

    25 July 2024 - 11:28

    Foreign travellers touring Karabakh 

    PHOTO

    25 July 2024 - 11:23

    West-backed Armenia likely to spark conflict with Azerbaijan rather than seek peace

    Caliber.Az reveals expert prognoses

    25 July 2024 - 11:10

    Georgian PM warns of second front if opposition wins elections

    25 July 2024 - 10:57

    Netanyahu proposes to create NATO-like alliance in Middle East

    25 July 2024 - 10:45

    Another invitation to peace: Armenia must act decisively for lasting resolution

    Baku remains open to constructive talks

    25 July 2024 - 10:32

    Nearly 600 million people could face hunger by 2030

    IFAD warns

    25 July 2024 - 10:19

    Israel unveils new air-to-surface cruise missile

    Wind Demon

    25 July 2024 - 10:06

    Turkish National Security Council to consider Baku-Yerevan relations

    25 July 2024 - 09:54

All news