Official visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the People`s Republic of China (March 7-10, 1994)

Among the Eastern Asian countries China is the most interested in the relations with Azerbaijan. China`s interest in Azerbaijan and the Caspian basin is natural. With an unprecedented fast growth over the past 20 years, China`s main threat can be the shortage of raw materials and energy. In this regard, Azerbaijan is among the countries, which is attractive to China. The latter shows great interest in global projects in the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and the Central Asia, particularly in the East-West project implemented within the framework of TRACECA.

The Azerbaijani-Chinise relations have always been developing. The official visit of the Presodent of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to China in March 1994  fostered this development.

On March 7, Heydar Aliyev was officially welcomed by the President of PRC Jiang Jemin. The bilateral negotiations took place afterwards. Jiang Jemin noted that China attaches great importance to the development of relations with Azerbaijan and is ready to enhance the cooperation in all the spheres.

After the negotiations Jiang Jemin and Heydar Aliyev signed a joint statement for the development of friendly relations between China and Azerbaijan, signed a series of agreements on opening air flights, on scientific-technical and cultural cooperation, on mutual activities in the field of medicine, radio and television, tourism.

On March 8, Heydar Aliyev met Prime Minister Li Peng. Various aspects of bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting.

On the same day, Heydar Aliyev held a press conference dedicated to the initial outcomes of his visit. Expressing his satisfaction with the initial results of the visit, Heydar Aliyev thoroughly informed the journalists about the biggest problem of Azerbaijan - the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and underlined the importance of combining the efforts of the UN Security Council members, including China for the solution of the conflict.

On March 9, President Heydar Aliyev delivered a speech in Beijing International Trade Development Assistance Committee. Giving information on Azerbaijan and bilateral relations, President said: «It is our third day in your country and in the beautiful capital Beijing. We have managed to exchange views on many issues and even to sign some important documents in these three days. These documents aim at further development of the relations, especially in the field of trade and economy. I appreciate this friendly atmosphere that has surrounded us thanks to the Chinese authorities and to all of those who communicated with us since our arrival. Frankly, we feel like home here. This is very important, because we are trying to establish friendly relations with the People`s Republic of China. The visit of the Azerbaijani president to China was generated by the necessity of mutual relations and their development.»

By paying a visit to Shanghai, President Heydar Aliyev got acquianted with the free economic zone and China`s economic model. A visit to the Great Wall was part of this introduction.

Spaking to the journalists in Almaty en route from China to Baku, the Azerbaijani President appreciated the results of his visit: «In general, I think that the visit to the People`s Republic of China was a historic event. Because the relations between China and Azerbaijan have never been at this level. Of course, we can mention historical ties, the Great Silk Road and so on. However, the estalishment of close interstate relations is a great political event, first of all, for the Republic of Azebraijan.»