The topic of the South Caucasus — Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia — is often brought up in the broader context of international security issues in the Black Sea region and the Greater Middle East. Yet the high concentration of conflicts, differing relations with neighboring powers, and a lack of regional integration make it impossible to perceive the region exclusively as a space for the proxy confrontation between Russia and the West, especially now, when new players — most notably China — are getting increasingly involved in the region. The increased scale of Chinese cooperation with the South Caucasus in recent years is turning Beijing into one of the forces of influence in the region.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia can’t be described as priority areas in China’s foreign policy. They do not share borders with China, and their economic cooperation is not yet so great, though it is developing rapidly. Nonetheless, the South Caucasus is of interest to Beijing as an important part of China’s global Belt and Road infrastructure and investment strategy. This importance was reflected in the May visit of China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, to all three countries...
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