Anincreasing number of politicians and experts have recently recognizedthat the processes of global geopolitical transformation should havespecific trends that unite them. So far, the tendency towardscontrolled chaos prevails. Against this background, the creation of anew world order is the main task for political leaders. Therefore,any forms of manifestation of political wisdom and constructivism areperceived as an opportunity to save all of humanity.
Back in1994, the former President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, speaking atthe 49th session of the UN General Assembly, noted that seriouschanges were taking place in the system of international relations.It becomes necessary to create an 'equal world order'. Developingthoughts, the then head of the Azerbaijani state outlined his visionof the fundamental principles of the new world order: “Partnership,durable peace and security for all, in accordance with internationallaw, principles and provisions of the United Nations Charter' becomethe fundamental principles of the new world order (1). In otherwords, Azerbaijan believed that humanity should move 'from a world ofhostility based on strength into an era of cooperation andprosperity' (1). It should be noted that the leadership of Azerbaijansteadily and actively acts in this direction.
After thecollapse of the Yalta-Potsdamsystem of international relationsand the formation of a new world order, today's geopoliticalrealities vividly show that prestigious international organizationsand leading countries of the world are faced with the task ofstopping the world system’s incitement to a turbulent clash ofcivilizations and global chaos where political cataclysms occur moreoften and the world map changes, the world needs, in the literalsense of the word, a geopolitical placebo.
Based onthese arguments, we would like to outline the geopolitical aspect ofthe prospects for the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan,Georgia, Ukraine and China in the framework of the One Belt, One Roadproject. In order for this project not to become an 'underground' ofthe modern geopolitics, which is opposed to traditional geopolitics,specific programs are needed to fully comply with all norms ofinternational law and to be based on the principle of mutuallybeneficial cooperation of equal partners. Therefore, the mostappropriate partner of China and other participants of the 'One Belt,One Way' project is Azerbaijan. Because, as experience shows, theleadership of Azerbaijan pursues its foreign policy proceeding frominternational law, strict observance of the equality of all partiesand according to the principle of mutually beneficial cooperation.This is evidenced by the dynamics of cooperation between Azerbaijanand China under the 'One Belt, One Way' project.
The 'OneBelt, One Way' strategy was launched in 2013 by the head of the PRC,Xi Jinping. Political circles received it with great interest. It isconsidered one of the promising global international infrastructureprojects. The territory of this project includes countries rich inresources as well as 63% of the world's population. Xi Jinpingintroduced this strategy as the “Economic Belt of the New SilkRoad”. 'One Belt, One Way' program consists of three projects: 'NewSilk Road', 'South Silk Road' and 'Sea Silk Road of the 21st Century'(2).
Accordingto the Azerbaijani analytical portal Newtimes.az, 'The main goal inthis strategy is to connect China’s economy with Asia, Africa, theMiddle East and Europe. According to the official Beijing, itsconcrete implementation should take place along a single route strip.The above-mentioned three projects comprise separate parts of thisroute ... The new development strategy of China stands behind the'One Belt, One Way' initiative'. (3).
Judgingfrom this project's statistics, the volume of Chinese investmentsover the past few years amounts to a trillion US dollars. On 26September 2016 an international seminar 'The Economic Belt of theSilk Road' was held in the Chinese city of Xi'an (the starting pointof the ancient Silk Road). More than 300 experts from 35 countriestook part in the seminar. Its final document had specified severalmain principles of China’s strategy in this project. One of themajor ones was called mutually beneficial cooperation in theframework of international norms, which 'will contribute to globalstability and this will allow to solve the problems of unevendevelopment' (4).
Within theframework of the 'One Belt, One Path' project, the implementation ofthe Southern Gas Corridor energy project and the Europe-Caucasus-Asiaand China-Iran-Europe transport routes are of particular importance.These routes allow combining different transit flows into a singlesystem on the territory of Azerbaijan.
Thus, underthis project Azerbaijan could become a geopolitical andtransportation hub in the South Caucasus. Remarkably, the status ofAzerbaijan in this project is not limited to this. Azerbaijan isbecoming an important and decisive geopolitical, political, culturaland transport space in the process of including all new participantsin the 'One Belt, One Way' project.
Bycombining different transit routes and playing the role of ageopolitical hub, our country is able to expand these routes indifferent directions. In this capacity, Azerbaijan in the context ofthe 'One Belt, One Way' project is the most attractive country forthe Eastern European countries. Experts note the fact that ourcountry is the safest, stable and trustful partner for all statesinterested in civilized cooperation.
Moreover,Azerbaijan and Georgia are strategic allies which closely cooperatein the 'One Belt, One Way' project. And Georgia is a completely opencountry for Europe. So through Georgia, the European countries (firstof all, the Eastern European ones – due to their geographicalposition) can actively join the 'One Belt, One Way' project.
Ukraine, asa large Eastern European state and a friend of Azerbaijan, has goodchances to become its successful member. With Azerbaijani activesupport, Ukraine has an opportunity to become an integral part ofthat diverse and interconnected network (a kind of 'supercharged'economic field) that overlaps all of Eurasia.
Is Ukraineinterested in joining this Chinese 'One Belt, One Way' initiative?Yes, 'Ukraine was one of the first European countries to respondpositively and it signed a proper memorandum of cooperation' (5). Butin our opinion, Ukraine'sactual participation in the implementation of this project is farfrom perfect.Some experts even have doubts about Ukraine's success in the 'OneBelt, One Way' project. For example, according to the Center forTransport Strategy (Ukraine), there are five key issues that preventUkraine's real participation in this project (6).
Of course,we do not pursue the goal of assessing the foreign policy of asovereign and friendly country, Ukraine. But, as Ukrainian officialsadmit, transportation through the Black and Caspian Seas ispromising. And this is a direct indication of importance of Ukraine'scooperation with Azerbaijan and Georgia under the 'One Belt, One Way'project. Webelieve that Ukraine, actively cooperating with Azerbaijan andGeorgia, can turn into a transit hub of the 'One Belt, One Way'project.
1.Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyevat the 49th session of the UN General Assembly - New York, 29September 1994, 'Heydar Aliyev Heritage' International onlinelibrary.
2. LiuXeia. Strategies of Development strategies of the new Silk Road inthe 21st century, Young Scientist, 2015, No. 15, p. 391-394.
3. 'OneBelt, One Way': China pursues a new strategy,
Newtimes.az,02 March 2016, http://newtimes.az/ru/organisations/4277/
4. 'Beltand Way' initiative started bringing positive results, 'News.cn', 27September 2016, http://russian.news.cn/2016-09/27/c_135716813.htm.
5.IanDunshen,Chairman of the Board of Tianjin Bohai Commodity Exchange,UBRRhas become the first Ukrainian bank with Chinese financing,
6. New SilkWay and Ukraine: 5 key questions,