China’s Xi in Turkey to talk Syria, energy

China’s Xi in Turkey to talk Syria, energy

China’s Xi in Turkey to talk Syria, energy

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is seen in Beijing in this May 18, 2011 file photo. REUTERS photo

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will seek to enhance bilateral political and economic cooperation when he arrives in Turkey today for talks while also possibly pursuing a nuclear power plant contract, according to a Turkish official.

“Formal talks have not been launched yet, but China has previously expressed its interest in Turkey’s nuclear power bid,” the official told the Hürriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity.

A joint credit fund could be launched for China’s possible upcoming energy projects in Turkey, the official said. The fund enables Chinese companies to invest in other countries.

During the visit, Xi will have talks with President Abdullah Gül and take part in activities such as the China-Turkey Economy and Trade Forum in Istanbul.

“The Chinese side is ready to work with the Turkish side to push forward China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations through this visit,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin said in a press conference Feb. 7.

The two sides will conduct an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest, Liu said.

The Syrian crisis is expected to be one of the key issues of the talks, as China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution against the Syrian regime earlier this year. Turkey will be looking for international support to increase pressure on the Bashar al-Assad regime at the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunisia on Feb. 24.

Turkey is the third leg of Xi’s ongoing three-nation tour. Concluding his visit to Ireland, the Chinese vice president is expected to arrive in Turkey today and start his talks tomorrow. He also visited the United States last week.

Xi, 58, is expected to succeed Chinese President Hu Jintao, who must retire as head of the Communist Party later this year and from the presidency in 2013.