Armenia–China relations

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Armenia–China relations
Map indicating locations of Armenia and China



Armenian-Chinese relations are the foreign relations between Armenia and China. The first references to Armenian-Chinese links are found in the works of 5th-century historian Moses of Chorene and 6th-century geographer and mathematician Anania Shirakatsi.[1] The People’s Republic of China officially recognized the Republic of Armenia on December 27, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the People’s Republic of China were established on April 6, 1992. The Embassy of China to Armenia was established in July 1992, while the Embassy of Armenia to China started its activities on August 10, 1996.[2] The Armenian Ambassador to China resides in the Beijing embassy.

Presidents of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Robert Kocharyan visited P.R.China in May 1996 and September 2004. President Serzh Sargsyan was in China in May 2010 to participate at the opening ceremony of the "Shanghai World Expo 2010". High-level visits from China to Armenia included members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Luo Gan in September 2003 and Li Changchun in April 2011.

Trade and economic relations[edit]

Embassy of Armenia in China

Trade turnover (mln. US dollars)[3][edit]

Year Export Import (origin) Import (consignment)
2012 31.2 399.7 208.1
2011 16.2 404.2 209.1
2010 30.8 404.2 223.3
2009 17.8 284.6 130.6
2008 18.1 382.1 169.3
2007 7.8 194.7 84.0
2006 0.4 111.0 52.5
2005 9.2 65.5 27.1
2004 21.7 38.4 13.3
2003 4.5 31.4 8.6
2002 4.0 - 10.1
2001 0.0 - 7.8
2000 0.5 - 5.4
1999 0.0 - 4.8

The data in the chart above shows that the trade volume between Armenia and China, although still relatively small in numbers, has grown significantly over the last decade and has reached the benchmark of US$400 million by 2008. There was a significant slump in trade volume 2009, probably due to the repercussions of the financial crisis of 2007-08, and then it hit over 400 million for two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011.

Armenia's main export item is ore, while the imports from China to Armenia are diverse and include clothes, shoes, machinery, chemicals, equipment, construction materials, furniture, food etc.[4]


In May 2010, Shanna (Shanxi-Nairit) Synthetic Rubber Co., Ltd. jointly funded by Shanxi Synthetic Rubber Group Co.Ltd and Armenia's Nairit was completed and put into production.[5] Armenia's President attended the inauguration of the Shanxi-Nairit joint venture for production of chloroprene rubber in Datong.[6] Shanxi-Nairit joint venture was created based on the agreement signed in 2003 by the Shanxi Synthetic Rubber Company (China) and Nairit LLC (RA). Armenia holds 40 percent of Shanxi-Nairit’s shares.


Confucius Institute at Yerevan State Linguistic University[edit]

Confucius Institute opened at Yerevan State Linguistic University in 2008.[7]


In Chinese, “Armenia” is pronounced “Ya-mei-ni-ya,” hieroglyphs of which mean “the beautiful maid of Asia.” In Armenian sources, legends, and fairy tales, China is called a country of chenes, Chinumachin, or Chinastan. The relations between Armenia and China can be traced back to around AD 1000.

Armenians visited China for trade and imported silk, porcelain, and other goods from China and back to Armenia. In China, there was high demand for Armenian medicine, vegetables, mineral paints, and insects, especially the Armenian cochineal, which was used to paint the best Chinese and Indian silks. Armenian merchants traded silk, jade, and other goods. Various Chinese products were brought to Armenia through the Silk Road, including fabrics embroidered with silver and gold threads.

Archaeological material of Chinese porcelain and celadonite discovered during excavations of the Armenian cities of Garni, Dvin, Ani, and the Amberd fortress illustrates early medieval Armenian-Chinese economic ties.

Movses Khorenatsi, Anania Shirakatsi, Stepanos Orbelian, and King Hethum I of Armenia wrote about China, Chinese culture, and Chinese people in their works.

During the time of the Mongol Empire, the relations between Armenia and China were promoted by the government. Because of this, many Armenians began to settle in China. In 1688 the British East India Company formed a careful agreement that would permit Armenians access to Chinese trade. The Armenians made full usage of their agreement with the British and made sure to carry out trade in Shanghai and Macao via sea trade.

On 27 December 1991 China officially recognized the Republic of Armenia as an independent state. In the year after, on April Sixth, many Central Asian countries established diplomatic relations. In July of the same year, China established an embassy in the Armenian Capital of Yerevan. In 1996 Armenia established their own Embassy in Beijing.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bedrosian, Robert (1981). "China and the Chinese according to 5-13th Century Classical Armenian Sources" (PDF). Armenian Review. 34 (1–133): 17–24. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Armenia - China bilateral relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. 
  3. ^ Statistical Service, of the Republic of Armenia. "Armenian - Chinese trade turnover". Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  4. ^ of the Republic of Armenia, National Statistical Service. "Foreign Trade of the Republic of Armenia" (PDF). NSS RA. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Shanxi-Nairit Synthetic Rubber Co.Ltd". China National BlueStar (Group) Co.Ltd. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "President Sargsyan participated in the opening of Shanghai Expo - 2010". The office of the President of Armenia. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Confucius Institute at YSLU". Yerevan State Linguistic University.