Relations between Azerbaijan and China have continued to strengthen over the past years, Siyavush Novruzov, lawmaker and deputy executive secretary of Azerbaijan’s ruling New Azerbaijan Party, told Xinhua.
“During the past years bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and China have made steady progress,” Novruzov recently told Xinhua in an interview.
Novruzov praised the leading role of President Ilham Aliyev in the development of bilateral relations, saying the president has traveled to China five times and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in December 2015.
Novruzov said Azerbaijan has been committed to cooperation with China and is closely connected with China in many areas.
“Relations between the peoples of Azerbaijan and China are based on a long history. Azerbaijan is located on the ancient Silk Road, serving as an important transit zone between East and West,” he said.
Novruzov also said that the overland Silk Road Economic Belt creates new opportunities for Azerbaijan-China economic cooperation.
“Azerbaijan, which supports the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, offers a wide range of opportunities for the trans-Caspian transport corridor,” he said.
The Azerbaijani MP also said bilateral trade increased remarkably last year and more than 100 Chinese companies are now working in Azerbaijan, while expressing his confidence that bilateral economic cooperation will continue to become stronger.
China became Azerbaijan’s fourth largest trading partner in 2017. Customs data of the Caucasus country estimated bilateral trade at a record close to 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up 33 percent from the previous year.