China's Xi visits Turkey to discuss trade, Syria

China's Xi visits Turkey to discuss trade, Syria

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Ankara yesterday for a two-day visit focused on trade and regional issues, including the Syrian crisis raging across Turkey’s southeastern border, according to the AFP.

Xi Jinging is expected to meet President Abdullah Gul and parliamentary speaker Cemil Cicek Today and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tomorrow in Istanbul, where Erdogan is recovering from a second intestinal operation he underwent on February 10.

Xi will also address a Chinese-Turkish business forum, founded with the aim of increasing bilateral investments especially in the areas of construction, vehicle manufacture, mining and chemical engineering. The meeting will take place at Istanbul Hilton Convention Center. More than 58 high level excecutives from different companies from China will attend the conference and meet with their Turkish counterparts.

The trade volume between China and Turkey has soared from one billion dollars in 2000 to 19.5 billion in 2010, according to official figures.

“We willd discuss the situation in Syria and share our view (with Xi) that the repression in Syria is unacceptable and that this bloodbath must stop,” a Turkish diplomat told AFP.

On February 4, China and Russia vetoed a draft Security Council resolution condemning the Damascus regime’s crackdown on protestors, which led to a wave of international criticism against Beijing.

Turkey, once a close ally to the Assad regime, joined in the criticism and denounced the vote.Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun visited Syria last week and called on all sides to stop the violence after talks with Assad on Saturday.