PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (11): 2135-2151.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.11.012

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Geo-relationship between China and the South Caucasus region based on the geo-potential model

BA Shiqi(), NIU Xueli, YAO Yuyang, CHEN Ying*()   

  1. School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2022-04-16 Revised:2022-08-08 Online:2022-11-28 Published:2023-01-28
  • Contact: CHEN Ying;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671118)


Due to their geographical location and outstanding resource endowments, the South Caucasus countries have always been an area where multiple civilizations meet and great powers play games. It is of great significance to explore the evolution of China's geo-relationship with them for the future cooperation in economic development and political strategies. Based on the power theory of international relations, this study constructed a geo-potential model to describe the evolution characteristics of the geo-relationship between China and the South Caucasus countries from 2000 to 2020. The results indicate that: 1) The geo-potential between China and the South Caucasus countries from 2000 to 2020 showed an upward trend year by year and experienced three development stages. In the period from 2000 to 2005 the geo-potential was low and stable, the period from 2006 to 2012 was the initial growth stage, and the period from 2013 to 2020 was a period of rapid growth. 2) In terms of the average geo-potential in 20 years, growth rate, and growth range, the spatial trend is China-Armenia > China-Azerbaijan > China-Georgia. As of 2020, the geo-potential of China-Armenia was the highest; In terms of the temporal changes of geo-potential, China-Armenia started at a low level and rose rapidly in the later period; China-Azerbaijan started at a high level and fluctuated in the later period; China-Georgia started at a low level and rose evenly in the later period. 3) The driving mechanisms that affected the evolution of these geo-relationships can be divided into positive mechanism and negative mechanism. The positive driving forces include geo-location, geo-economy, geo-culture, and geo-diplomacy. Geo-location is the background force, geo-economy is the dominant force, geo-culture is the potential force, and geo-diplomacy is the root force. The negative driving forces include, on the one hand, the unstable internal geo-politics and the strong divide of the internal geo-culture in the region, and on the other hand, the difficulty of intervention of China's geo-diplomacy and the weakness of competition of China's geo-economy. The internal elements of the two driving systems interact with each other and jointly affect the evolution of the geo-relationship between China and the South Caucasus region.

Key words: geo-potential model, geo-relationship, power, South Caucasus