US threatens Azerbaijan with sanctions due to China
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Much has been said about the US-China confrontation. There is nothing new or surprising in the constant opaque games of the two powers.
On the one hand, by maintaining the apparent calm, on other hand, Washington and Beijing are fighting for influence in every strategically important region.
Unfortunately, at this time Baku was also indirectly affected in this confrontation. Baku has recently signed several important documents with China. Of course, they could not but cause the US zealous attention and its painful reaction.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev paid a historic visit to Beijing.
An important Memorandum of Understanding was also signed to jointly promote the creation of the Silk Road economic belt following President Aliyev's meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Less than a week has passed since that historic visit but the US has already made an unprejudiced gesture towards Azerbaijan.
The US Helsinki Commission submitted an anti-Azerbaijani bill to the Congress. The bill envisages imposing the sanctions against Azerbaijani officials.
It is clear that such kind of draft law is a measure of warning, which is just a signal for Baku. However, given the fact that the United States never does anything without any reason, it becomes clear that Washington became "jealous" of Baku to Beijing and makes it clear that it perceives such a turn by Azerbaijan from West to East as a kind of threat to its influence in the region.
One can understand the US: the Silk Road Economic Belt project, which has the prospective to become the most important transit artery between Asia and Europe, one of the key places in which belongs to Azerbaijan, as well as other important projects, will undoubtedly strengthen China's influence in the region.
In particular, Azerbaijan is the initiator of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway construction project, the country has built the largest port in the Caspian Sea, a shipyard, has purchased new vessels. In addition, the country hosts the headquarters of the TRACECA international transport corridor.
Today, China has three ways to the West: the first way is Russia from the northern borders of Azerbaijan up to the Arctic, the second way is Iran from the southern border of our country till the Persian Gulf.
It is obvious that the most politically beneficial route for China is Azerbaijan.
Given that Azerbaijan and China have recently signed 10 documents, including a declaration on friendship and intensifying the cooperation, as well as projects in the spheres of education, transport, energy, railway and so on, Washington has something to worry about.
China has already laid the foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation and for strengthening its economic and political positions in the region and the US has no choice but try to prevent its archenemy from entering the strategically important Caspian Sea region.
Unfortunately, for this purpose, the US has chosen such an undiplomatic way which will cool down the relations between Baku and Washington.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service