Turkey, China sign two nuclear agreements during PM’s visit

Turkey, China sign two nuclear agreements during PM’s visit

Turkey, China sign two nuclear agreements during PM’s visit

AFP photo

Turkey and China signed two nuclear agreements in Beijing yesterday.

The agreements, announced at a ceremony attended by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Turkish Prime Minsiter Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, pave the way for deeper nuclear cooperation between the two countries, but few concrete details of their contents were made available.

One of the accords signed is a letter of intent between China’s National Energy Administration and the Turkish Energy Ministry for further nuclear cooperation, but no other information was given. The second is the “Cooperation Agreement on the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Power.”

A potential partner

Turkey is seeking a partner for its second planned nuclear power plant, to be built in the northern province of Sinop. Russia, Japan and South Korea are other candidates, along with China, according to the Energy Ministry. Russian nuclear energy giant Rosatom will build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, near the Mediterranean coast. The foru-reactor plant will cost about $20 billion, according to the plan.

The government will decide on a tender for the second nuclear power plant in two months, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız said April 8 in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the northwest of China, which was the first stop for the Turkish mission headed by the prime minister. Mutual trade between China and Turkey has soared from just $1 billion in 2000 to $19.5 billion in 2010.

Yıldız undersigned both contracts on behalf of his country. The two countries also signed agreements in several other fields. Turkey’s state-run broadcaster TRT and China’s CCTV signed a cooperation deal, and China’s national publishing group signed a cooperation deal with Turkey’s Turkuaz Magazines Group, a subsidiary of Çalık Holding. The two countries also agreed to mutually promote and protect each other’s investments, and each agreed to build a cultural center on the other’s soil, Anatolia news agency reported.

Turkish Deputy PM Bekir Bozdağ, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, as well as high-ranking officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Turkish Airlines Chief Executive Officer Temel Kotil were also present at the signing ceremony.