On 22 October, Armenian and Azeri Defence ministers, Davit Tonoyan and Zakir Hasanov, meet their Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, during their official visit to China for the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum. The event is held every one to two years and is aimed at strengthening cooperation and security between members of the international community in the Asia-Pacific region.
Armenia-China military exchange programmes
Defence ministry officials in Armenia published a statement in which bilateral exchange programmes for servicemen in military academies were valued highly. Additional stress was put on Armenia’s role in international peacekeeping, as well as military training programmes between the two. The statement concluded that further prospects towards strengthening regional security were discussed.
Azerbaijan-China’s “one belt one road” initiatives
Azeri defence officials in their statement highlighted their country’s interests in China’s “one belt one road” multilateral trade and political cooperation initiative put forth by China’s Xi Jinping, alluding to a possible trade route westwards through the Caspian sea and Azerbaijan from China. The statement also highlighted military cooperation between the two, particularly in the medical and technical fields.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have shown an interest in expanding their relations with China, economically, politically and militarily. Numerous agreements have been signed by each with their Chinese counterparts, which also reflects the latter’s interest in the Caucasus region.
According to official sources, over 1300 people were present at the event, including 76 official delegations and defence ministers from 23 countries. Additionally, academicians and representatives of major international organisations also participated in the event.