Armenia to Receive Further Aid from China

Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Dalian, China.

BEIJING (RFE/RL)—China said on Tuesday that it will provide Armenia with around $16 million in additional economic assistance this year, encourage Chinese businesspeople to invest in the Armenian economy and facilitate imports from the South Caucasus state.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reportedly made the announcement during talks with Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan held on the sidelines of an international economic forum in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian. The talks were followed by the signing of several Chinese-Armenian agreements. One of them is aimed at boosting commercial ties between the two nations, according to an Armenian government statement.

“We are ready to encourage our citizens to visit Armenia and familiarize themselves with your country as tourists,” the statement quoted Li as telling Sarkisian. “Efforts will be made to increase Chinese investments in Armenia.”

“We are also ready to import various goods from Armenia. As well as making investments, we want to see Armenian cognac, jewelry items and precious stones in the Chinese market,” he said.

Li added that the Chinese government has decided to allocate the extra aid to Armenia in recognition of “friendly relations” existing between the two nations.

An explanatory note released by the Armenian government said it will come in addition to an $11 million grant that was allocated by Beijing earlier this year for the construction of a Chinese school in Yerevan and the purchase of equipment for the Armenian customs service. It did not clarify what the extra sum will be spent on.

China has also donated hundreds of public buses and ambulance vehicles to Armenia in recent years. Sarkisian was reported to thank Li for this assistance. He also said that the Armenian government would like to deepen ties with Beijing.

“I am glad that our relations have been deepening in all areas in recent years,” the Armenian premier added, according to his press office.

Defense and security appears to be one of those areas. A military source in Yerevan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) last month that Armenia has acquired Chinese multiple-launch rocket systems with a firing range of up to 130 kilometers.

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9 Comments

  1. Karo Mavian said:

    I think the best for Armenia to get any kind of Military ayd for Armenia,including Airplains,every thing what Russia saled to Turkey and Azikstan.That will be enough.Karo

  2. An Armenian said:

    China has a province with a large muslim population that could be a thorn on her side with Turkey’s manipulations. It would be wise for China to try to strengthen Armenia as a barrier to Turkey’s expansionist policies. China is a cash reach country with huge gold and cash reserves. Sixteen million dollars is just a drop in the bucket for them. However, for a poor country like Armenia with 35% of its population living under the poverty line it is most welcomed.

  3. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    “China has also donated hundreds of public buses and ambulance vehicles to Armenia in recent years.”

    Aha! That’s why these USAID losers are willing to finance the protest barevolutionaries for hire to disrupt public transportation projects in Armenia;)
    What are they going to do about the Chinese ambulances? Any grant proposals in the works?

  4. Vanessa Kachadurian said:

    I think this is great news to have the 2 strongest super powers in the region as business partners (Russia and China) The last time I was in Armenia, i met a group of Armenian students studying in China and learning the language fluently their education wisely subsidized by the Armenian Government for future growth opportunities. The Chinese are good miners perhaps they could be co-partners in the Jermuk mining and open more Armenian Jewelery stores in Shanghai and other metro areas where the higher end jewelry stores are. Lets put Armenians to work and build the economy instead of Armenians leaving and more Iranian businesses coming in.
    Vanessa Kachadurian

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