FM: Strategic partnership with China “does not contradict” EU integration aspirations

The FM also said Beijing had “never questioned” Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Photo: MFA press office, 20 Oct 2023 - 14:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili on Friday responded to claims by the domestic opposition on the Government’s recently signed strategic agreement with China hampering the country’s European integration by stressing the deal “in no way contradicts” Tbilisi’s foreign policy priorities. 

He also stressed Beijing had “never questioned” Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, amid the opposition’s claims on “friendly ties” between China and Russia during Moscow’s ongoing occupation of 20 percent of the Georgian territory. 

It is well known to everyone that 20 percent of the territory of Georgia is occupied by Russia and that the de-occupation of our country using peaceful, political methods is one of the key priorities of the Government”, the Minister told MPs who had summoned him to the Parliament for questions.

The Minister also stressed his Government reflected approaches by other countries and the United Nations by supporting “any initiative that contributes to peace and security, peaceful resolution of existing regional conflicts, and global security, which is the main goal of sustainable development”. 

He further noted Tbilisi was “not in a position to influence China’s relations with other countries”, including Russia, but stressed China had “never questioned Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. 

The official highlighted his Government's “main task” was to “ensure security, stable development and the economic strengthening” of the country, and it had pursued “pragmatic, results-oriented policies” and used “all the opportunities available” to achieve those goals. 

If someone is trying to cast some shadow on our most important foreign policy priority - integration with the EU - by saying that we are strengthening relations with China at the same time, I invite you to see and listen to what the bloc’s plans are over its relations with China”, Darchiashvili said. 

He stressed the strengthening of ties with China also allowed Tbilisi to “more effectively use” its strategic location and perform as a route connecting the East with the West.