Turkey's president praises ties with China
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Maintaining momentum in relations between Turkey and China is crucial to both the welfare of their peoples and international stability, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, praising the mutual ties during an official visit on July 2.
The president was welcomed by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing before a tête-à-têtes meeting.
“I believe that Turkey and China have great potential for strengthening cooperation,” Erdoğan said following the meeting at Great Hall of the People.
“We are on the same page regarding President Xi’s approach to the initiative, which is not only to improve transport and communication networks, to construct trade corridors and to harmonize trade policies and development strategies but also to boost cultural and human ties in this framework,” he said in an interview with Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua before the meeting.
“We are acting in line with the conscience that the Sino-Turkish economic and trade partnership, besides its regional benefits, has potential to contribute to world peace, prosperity and stability,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan said the issues of economy, trade, tourism, investment, security, defense, and counterterrorism will be given more priority as areas of bilateral cooperation.
Belt and Road
The Turkish president highlighted that Turkey is one of the first countries to support China’s Belt and Road, an initiative of regional development and creating new global trade routes.
“There is a natural harmony between our Middle Corridor Initiative and China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” Erdoğan said.
“This harmony allows us to cooperate with China in large geographies such as Central Asia and Africa.”
In a separate article on Global Times, Erdoğan said underscored the importance of the corridor, which links Turkey to Georgia and Azerbaijan via rail, crosses the Caspian Sea and reaches China through Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
Citing the recently-launched Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railroad Project, Erdoğan said Turkey also invested in other projects as part of the Middle Corridor, such as the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge over the Bosphorus, the Eurasia Tunnel and the Marmaray running under the Bosphorus, the 1915 Bridge over the Dardanelles, highways, high-speed railways, logistics hubs, and communication infrastructure.
He said these projects would “directly contribute to the Belt and Road goal of connecting Beijing to London.”
The two countries have a concrete bilateral agenda on how to improve partnership, Erdoğan said.
“I believe that we will witness together how our relations will be upgraded in all fields when we boost our consultations with our Chinese friends.”
“Our strengthening bilateral cooperation promotes greater interaction between our peoples and facilitates progress in the area of tourism. China marked the Turkey Tourism Year in 2018 and hosted dozens of events around the country,” Erdoğan said, voicing pleasure over the considerable rise in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Industry Minister Mustafa Varank, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, Transport Minister Cahit Turhan, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan, President of Defense Industries İsmail Demir, Communications Director of Turkish Presidency Fahrettin Altun, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and Turkish Ambassador to Beijing Abdülkadir Emin Önen accompanied Erdoğan during the top-level talks.