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Green energy offers new opportunities to Azerbaijan and China

By Seymur Mammadov | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-04 12:13

Vehicles carrying wind turbine blades made in China head toward wind farms in Kazakhstan. China and the Central Asian nation have launched renewable energy projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. [Photo/Xinhua]

To strengthen relations and partnership, Azerbaijan and China have demonstrated significant interest in further developing and deepening ties. Recently, this aspiration has gained new momentum in light of the visit of Hikmet Hajiyev, the assistant to the president of Azerbaijan, to China. During his visit, he gave detailed interviews to Chinese media outlets, highlighting the key aspects and prospects of Azerbaijani-Chinese relations.

The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, who has embarked on his fifth term in office, has identified the development of relations with China as one of the leading priorities of the national foreign policy. Azerbaijan, valuing the historically established friendly ties with China, sees it not only as an important strategic partner but also as a source of knowledge, technologies, and experience. In this context, special attention is paid not only to strengthening political and economic ties but also to cooperation in the fields of technology, digitalization, and sustainable development, said Hajiyev.

Azerbaijan is eager to further deepen cooperation with China, especially in the Belt and Road Initiative, a global aimed at stimulating economic development and strengthening ties between countries. Specifically, emphasis is placed on Azerbaijan's participation in the Middle Corridor of this initiative, which can act as a strategic bridge between China and the European Union, contributing to the boosting of trade, economic, and cultural ties.

The main directions of interaction between China and Azerbaijan

The key areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan and China span a broad range of economic and technological aspects, emphasizing the significance and depth of the relations between these countries. The primary fields of collaboration include the development of trade relations, attracting investments, joint efforts in the energy sector, and the implementation of ambitious projects in the realm of advanced technologies. One of the critical tasks is to stimulate the development of the electric vehicle industry and the production of equipment for utilizing renewable energy sources, which opens new prospects for economic growth and reducing the carbon footprint.

Hajiyev highlighted the strategic importance of attracting Chinese companies to participate in Azerbaijan's economy. The country's authorities are ready to offer attractive conditions for establishing production capacities within Azerbaijan, which not only fosters the development of the local industry but also strengthens the economic ties between the two states. This proposal acts as an invitation to profound and mutually beneficial cooperation aimed at achieving common goals in sustainable development and innovation.

The cooperation between Azerbaijan and China in key areas such as trade and investments lays the foundation for broader international interaction, contributing to the development of the global economy. The energy sector, especially the development and application of technologies for renewable energy sources, represents another significant aspect of ties, enhancing energy security and reducing environmental impact. Ambitious projects in advanced technologies, including the development of the electric vehicle industry, open new opportunities for innovation and technological progress, facilitating the transition to more sustainable and efficient methods of energy production and consumption.

China a valuable partner in the implementation of "green" projects

Hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Azerbaijan presents the country with unique challenges and significant opportunities to demonstrate leadership in addressing global climate challenges. As a fossil fuel-exporting country, Azerbaijan is also committed to transitioning to sustainable energy sources and achieving sustainable development goals, both nationally and internationally.

Azerbaijan aims to use the COP29 platform to foster greater solidarity and consensus among nations on key aspects of climate change mitigation. Given the seriousness of climate challenges, Azerbaijan calls for a global unification of efforts to find effective and comprehensive solutions.

Azerbaijan and China, sharing a common vision of a world prioritizing sustainable development and combating climate change, have significant potential for collaboration in these areas. Their interaction, especially in the context of the upcoming COP29, could serve as a powerful catalyst for global environmental protection efforts.

Azerbaijan, eager to play an active role in global climate change mitigation efforts, values its cooperation with China in this field highly. China, as a global leader in developing and implementing green technologies, represents a valuable partner for Azerbaijan in the realization of ambitious projects within and beyond its borders.

With China's substantial investments in solar and wind energy, collaboration in this sector could help Azerbaijan accelerate its transition to more sustainable energy sources. Environmental protection and ecosystem restoration projects, especially in Azerbaijan, could benefit from Chinese expertise in afforestation and natural resource management.

Chinese investments and companies present economic opportunities

Some foreign media tend to exaggerate the so-called "security threat" associated with Chinese investments and enterprises.

In an interview, Hajiyev stated that such a stance is unfair toward China. Chinese technological solutions, including Huawei's products, are rightfully recognized as among the best globally. "My personal experience with Huawei's products over the years testifies to these technologies' contribution to the digitization of my country. We aim to further deepen our cooperation with Huawei, especially in the development of 5G technologies," said Hajiyev.

Unfortunately, certain states succumb to excessive propaganda, focusing on security and other issues, which hinders healthy competition and economic progress. Economic development should be based on the principles of fair competition. "Instead of supporting the principles of open trade and fair competition, some enterprises in these countries prefer to spread negative propaganda against Chinese companies. This contradicts our principles. We value our cooperation with Chinese enterprises and the People's Republic of China, appreciating their openness and willingness to cooperate," said Hajiyev.

Our joint projects with Chinese partners contribute to Azerbaijan's technological progress. China shares its innovations not only with developing but also with developed countries, thereby demonstrating that technological leadership should be accessible regardless of geographical location. The PRC has opened the doors to technological progress, confirming that technological development should not be monopolized by just a few centers of influence in the world.

China's development along a unique path of modernization makes a significant contribution to the global community, offering new models of development and cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative exemplifies Chinese openness and its aspiration to deepen international cooperation. Azerbaijan highly values these efforts and considers the Chinese experience as an important source of inspiration for its own development and interaction with the global community.

The joint efforts of Azerbaijan and China in the field of climate change and sustainable development can serve as a powerful example of international partnership, capable of having a noticeable impact on global efforts to protect the environment and promote an ecologically sustainable future.

In conclusion, given the current global challenges associated with climate change and the necessity for a shift toward sustainable development, the collaboration between Azerbaijan and China opens up new horizons for both nations and the global community at large. This partnership not only contributes to achieving environmental goals and sustainable development but also strengthens international relations, showcasing examples of effective intergovernmental cooperation.

Azerbaijan, by taking on the role of the host for COP29, and China, continuing its journey toward technological innovation and green modernization, can together play a pivotal role in shaping the global climate change agenda. Their joint efforts and the exchange of expertise in environmental protection, the development of renewable energy sources, and technological innovations are vital for achieving global climate goals.

China's development and its contributions to global initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, highlight the significance of strategic partnerships and knowledge sharing between countries. This not only promotes global economic growth and development but also offers unique opportunities for collaboration in addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our times—climate change.

Thus, Azerbaijan and China will continue to move forward hand in hand, deepening their cooperation in key areas and making significant contributions to achieving sustainable development and prosperity on a global level. Openness, mutual understanding, and the pursuit of common goals will remain the foundational principles of their partnership on the path to a green future.

Seymur Mammadov is a journalist based in Azerbaijan.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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