Friendship Story of Most Populous and Tiny Countries
14 June, 2012
Friendship Story of Most Populous and Tiny Countries

Chinese Embassy gives a huge celebration at Radisson Hotel

Maka  Lomadze

On June 8, at the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, a grandiose event organized by the Chinese Embassy, took place to celebrate the official date of starting diplomatic relations between the two countries. Like with many other states, this is the 20th anniversary of establishing the diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China.

In his opening speech, His Excellency Mr. Chen Jianfu stated that China was one of the first

countries to recognize Georgia’s independence and establish diplomatic links. “Throughout the past 20 years, both China and Georgia have been developing bilateral relations according to the principles of mutual respect and mutual benefits and have achieved fruitful results. I will summarize the relations in three sentences: Bilateral political relations are more mature. Bilateral trade has achieved great success. Bilateral cultural exchange is more and more active. “
Later on, the ambassador went into the details and noted that Georgia and China keep close coordination and cooperation, respecting mutual interests, supporting and cooperating with each other at international level. Purportedly, in the trade sphere, the trade turnover increased more than 200 times from several million dollars in the first year of establishing the diplomatic ties to more than $800 million.“Both countries are cooperating more closely with each other in the areas of technology, agriculture, infrastructure and energy. China puts every effort to support Georgia’s development, e.g. by training more than 600 Georgian personnel in different areas. In cultural and educational areas, the bilateral educational cooperation is being built up dynamically. The Chinese government provides scholarships for Georgian students to study in China every year, it has opened the first Confucius Institute in Georgia and supported the Beijing University to found  the Georgian language faculty. The exchanges between performing ensembles of our countries are becoming more and more frequent, further enhancing the friendship between Chinese and Georgian peoples and upgrading the level of cooperation.”
At the end, the ambassador of China to Georgia expressed the hope that this is just a good start for future bilateral relations that will hopefully acquire a much wider range through the joint efforts. Finally, he proposed to raise a glass of wine and pronounce a toast to the prosperity of both China and Georgia, to the happiness of both Chinese and Georgian peoples and to their everlasting friendship.
Form the Georgian side, Gigi Tsereteli, Vice Speaker of Georgian Parliament stated: “I want to express my gratitude on behalf of Georgian authorities and Parliament to the Chinese ambassador to Georgia for celebrating the 20th anniversary of our diplomatic relations with so magnificently. As the ambassador has mentioned, two decades is not a long period of time for the countries that have ancient history. However, it is worth mentioning that within this period our countries made significant achievements in terms of full mutual understanding. We will never forget the support of this great state for the independence of Georgia as well as its backing of democratic transformation of our country. It is an exciting story that China – most populous state of the world – is a great friend of a small country like Georgia. Close relations with China, particularly in the field of economy – modern technologies and business partnership - is very important not only for Georgia but for the entire region as well. We have global projects such as Traceca, Silk Road, but there is a number of projects in which Chinese investments have been made and Chinese technologies have entered the Georgian market; all these things are assisting the Georgian economy very much.” Tsereteli also expressed his joy at China’s declaring Georgia as one of the interesting tourism destinations. “We invite  Chinese tourists and visitors to come and see Georgia. We guarantee the best hospitality to them and hope that when they visit our country, they will return to Georgia again and again. If every second Chinese visits our country, our economy will prosper.”
Liu Guangwen Kandareli is the woman in her early 70-ies, who symbolizes the ties between the two countries. Her grandfather was the first Chinese tea specialist who lived in Georgia in the end of the 19th century. He had two sons and several daughter; they had a house, a number of horses, etc. It was a big family. Her father married a Georgian lady. In 1924, they all left the country as it was forbidden for a foreigner to be the director of a factory. “But we were allowed to study in the Soviet Union and I have been studying at Tbilisi Academy of Arts where I met my future husband, Georgian painter Givi Kandareli. Now I work at the Free University as a professor of Chinese Language. Basically, we live here, however, one of my grandchildren works at the Beijing University as a professor of Georgian language, another one studies there and the third one works in Georgia for the Chinese company.” For her, China and Georgia are both motherlands. “My fate is very difficult  - traveling to and fro all the time - but it’s very interesting too,” she says.  
The event abounded with other foreign diplomats. At the end of the event, all guests had a wonderful opportunity to taste a variety of rich and nourishing Georgian and Chinese dishes, which became the pleasant climax of the occasion.

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