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President Zourabichvili's Remarks on China's Activity in Georgia and the Need for Western Involvement in Infrastructure Projects

By Liza Mchedlidze
Thursday, February 29, 2024
During a discussion at Chatham House, the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, remarked on China's increasing activity in Georgia, expressing uncertainty about the implications of the 'strategic partnership'. She stated, "Now we are in a 'strategic partnership', don't know what that means, don't ask me."

Zourabichvili also noted that China is heavily involved in infrastructural projects. Consequently, Georgia requires increased involvement in large-scale infrastructural projects from its western partners.

Salome Zourabichvili also addressed the Anaklia port project, emphasizing its essential significance. She highlighted that the security of the Black Sea impacts everyone globally.

"China is becoming more active in Georgia. This has happened in the last few years, but it has become more and more active. Now we are in a 'strategic partnership'; I don't know what that means, so don't ask me. We also got a visa-free regime with China yesterday.

In addition, China is active in many infrastructure projects in Georgia because it is cheap, does not respect many laws and labor rights, but this is also because our western partners are less involved. Perhaps we need more involvement from Western partners in large infrastructure projects.

One of them is very important, and it is an issue that I have not yet touched upon - the port of Anaklia. It is of essential importance since the security of the Black Sea is an issue that will probably concern us all in the future. Georgia's coast on the Black Sea is of essential importance so that Russia does not have exclusivity on Black Sea cooperation, trade, etc," Zourabichvili stated.