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Azerbaijan Affirms Unwavering Support for China’s Territorial Integrity Amid Taiwan’s Elections

By Yaver Kazimbeyli January 15, 2024


Azerbaijan has been supporting the territorial integrity of China since establishing bilateral relations in 1992. / Courtesy

Azerbaijan has reiterated its support for the territorial integrity of China following the recent presidential elections held in Taiwan. 

“The Republic of Azerbaijan supports the one China policy,” the foreign ministry stated last week. “Azerbaijan does not recognize the independence of Taiwan and condemns conducted elections. Azerbaijan is against the interference in China’s internal affairs.” 

Presidential elections, unrecognized by the Chinese authorities, were held in Taiwan on January 13. The Democratic Progressive Party, representing itself as the ruling power on the island, dismissed warnings by Beijing to hold the polls. Following the announcement of the election results, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said that any changes in Taiwan could not change the basic fact that there is only one China, and Taiwan is a part of it. 

“The one-China principle is the solid anchor for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. We believe that the international community will continue to adhere to the one-China principle and understand and support the Chinese people’s just cause of opposing ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities and striving to achieve national reunification,” the message said, per CNN.

The election winner, William Lai Ching-te from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), voiced his hope for a return to “healthy and orderly” exchanges with China, calling for talks based on dignity and parity.

For Beijing, the One-China principle unwaveringly sets the condition for its relations with Taiwan by stating that there is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, where the Chinese government is the sole legal government uncontested by the self-proclaimed authorities in Taiwan. 

Azerbaijan has been supporting the territorial integrity of China since establishing bilateral relations in 1992. In an interview with Chinese CGTN TV in July 2023, President Ilham Aliyev repeated Baku’s unchanged position on the One-China principle. 

“We always support it and continue to support China's territorial integrity and the policy of One China and the policy of reunification of China. This policy has been articulated many years ago, and was reconfirmed on many occasions and it is absolutely unchanged and never be changed. First, because China for us is a friendly country. Second, because we always support the laws and principles of international law,” President Aliyev said.

Baku and Beijing, nurturing robust political ties, actively pursue bilateral cooperation in trade and transport. Azerbaijan, the sole nation bordering both Russia and Iran, holds an important role in China’s strategic agenda, connecting Europe with East and South Asia through energy, telecommunications, and transportation routes. As China’s primary trade partner in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia is crucial for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Leveraging transit routes to Georgia, Türkiye, Europe, Iran, and Russia, Azerbaijan presents unique opportunities for BRI advancement. The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, particularly, contribute significantly. Recently, a container block train from China completed the 5,200-km Middle Corridor journey in 11 days, showcasing the route’s efficiency. In January, nine container block trains from China are expected in Azerbaijan, underscoring the growing importance of Azerbaijan in facilitating cargo movements between East and West.