In a strategic move to enhance diplomatic relations, Irakli Kobakhidze, the leader of Georgia's ruling party and chairman of the governing Georgian Dream bloc, embarked on a six-day visit to China on Monday. Initial reports from Georgian media highlighted his significant meeting with the head of the Chinese Communist Party's International Department.
Kobakhidze stressed the importance of deepening both political and economic bonds between Tbilisi and Beijing, emphasizing the implementation of a partnership agreement signed between the two nations last year. Georgia's commitment to fostering a robust alliance is evident, particularly with China's substantial investments, including ongoing projects like the construction of a new highway connecting Tbilisi to Batumi, Georgia's second city and Black Sea port.
As a candidate member country for the European Union, Georgia has been delicately balancing its aspirations for EU membership with the cultivation of relations with China. This approach comes amid strained ties between the EU and various nations, excluding specific references.
Diverging from the actions of Western nations, Tbilisi refrained from imposing sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine. Notably, Georgia allowed the resumption of direct flights from Chinese airlines in the previous year, a significant step considering the hiatus in such flights since 2019.
With the EU granting Georgia candidate status in December, the importance of aligning the country's foreign policy closely with Brussels for future membership progression was underscored. As Georgia navigates its diplomatic course, the visit to China remains a pivotal moment in solidifying international partnerships and advancing its economic interests on the global stage.