Asia Global Institute
Colliding Interests in Eurasia: The South Caucasus, the Belt and Road, and Covid-19

Colliding Interests in Eurasia: The South Caucasus, the Belt and Road, and Covid-19

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Mher D Sahakyan, Nona Mamulashvili, Vera Kobalia

AGI x AGF Webinars

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AGI x AGF webinar series:
An intellectual exchange platform for AsiaGlobal Fellows globally to interact with the leadership of the Asia Global Institute and the institute's network of experts on important global policy issues. All are welcome.


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Key takeaways: 

  • Historically, South Caucasus countries have been fraught with military conflict and ideological differences both within the region and between Russia, Turkey and Iran.

  • Unlike Russia, Turkey, Iran, the EU or the US, China has engaged with the region portraying itself as a non-ideological alternative for trade, investment and infrastructure projects.

  • Recognizing the advantages in building trade and infrastructure links with South Caucasus countries to deliver goods to Europe more efficiently, China has stepped in to build infrastructure, provide low-interest, long-term loans and enhance trade relations – including signing the China-Georgia Free Trade Agreement in 2018.

  • China has also sought to increase its influence by building Confucius Institutes throughout the Caucasus region and has developed international education exchanges for university students.

  • Though Russia, the EU, China and the US have proposed various infrastructure investment initiatives, many of these projects have yet to be actualized due to ongoing military conflicts within and between regional actors. Therefore, resolving military conflict and engaging in multilateral cooperation remains critical for economic growth of the South Caucasus region.
About the Speakers

2020/21 AsiaGlobal Fellow, Asia Global Institute

Mher D Sahakyan

Mher D Sahakyan is a 2020/2021 AsiaGlobal Fellow. He is also founder and director of China-Eurasia Council for Political and Strategic Research. 

2020/21 AsiaGlobal Fellow, Asia Global Institute

Nona Mamulashvili

Nona Mamulashvili is a 2020/2021 Tanoto AsiaGlobal Fellow. She is chairwoman of the Caucasus Economic Policy Institute. 

2018 AsiaGlobal Fellow, Asia Global Institute

Vera Kobalia

Vera Kobalia is a 2018 AsiaGlobal Fellow. She is also a member of the Global Future Council on Development Finance at the World Economic Forum. 


Date/ Time: Sep 8, Tue 1000 Tbilisi, Yerevan; 1400 Hong Kong I  Sep 7, Mon 2300 Vancouver

The South Caucasus – Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – plays a key geopolitical and security role in Eurasia, the region between East and West, where the interests of Russia, the EU, the US, Turkey and Iran converge and collide. China has been building political and economic relations with the region, investing in this important crossroads through its Belt and Road Initiative. How have the interests of the big powers come to focus on this strategically significant part of the world? How are these geopolitical forces playing out in the context of Covid-19? AsiaGlobal Fellows from the South Caucasus will share on-the-ground perspectives on political, economic and security developments in the region and insights into the challenges it faces.



Room 326-348, Main Building
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam, Hong Kong

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