Erdoğan set to visit China in May to join ‘Belt and Road Summit’

Erdoğan set to visit China in May to join ‘Belt and Road Summit’

Erdoğan set to visit China in May to join ‘Belt and Road Summit’ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit China to join a summit for the “Belt and Road,” Beijing’s ambitious international logistics and trade plan, Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş has said. 

“Our president will visit China to participate in the ‘Belt and the Road Summit’ in Beijing on May 14 and 15, responding to an invitation by Chinese President Xi [Jinping],” Türkeş said, following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Liu Yandong in Ankara on April 18. 

“Belt and Road” consists of six economic collaboration routes that would affect 60 countries, potentially including Turkey.

The “Belt and Road” refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. 

It was unveiled in September and October 2013 in announcements, which revealed the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road, respectively. 

It was also promoted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his state visits in Asia and Europe. 

“China is the initiator but this is not a one-man show,” said Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and the vice chairman of the National Security Commission of China, who is also known as the “third man” of the world’s second largest economy, at an opening speech at the Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong last year in May. 

The Turkish-Chinese relations are constantly improving, Turkeş said on April 19. 

“We are continuing the positive momentum that we have achieved in our relations by conducting intensive visits and consultations at all levels starting from the heads of state. Our president and Chinese President Xi Pinjing’s three bilateral meetings in the last two years have been very helpful in determining the direction of relations,” he said. 

Turkey and China share a similar vision in reviving the historic Silk Road, he added. 

The Silk Road, or Silk Route, was an ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the East and West and stretching from the Korean Peninsula and Japan to the Mediterranean Sea.

Liu, for his side, said her visit was simultaneous with a crucial referendum in Turkey, referring to the April 16 vote on constitutional amendments that introduced a shift to an executive presidential system from the current parliamentary one. 

“We congratulate Turkey sincerely,” the Chinese deputy prime minister said. 

The cooperation between the countries is on its way due to careful studies from both sides, she said.