News / Asia

China, Turkey Deepen Ties During Rare Visit

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (r) and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao after a news conference in Ankara, 08 Oct 2010
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (r) and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao after a news conference in Ankara, 08 Oct 2010
Dorian Jones

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Turkey last week as part of his tour of Europe. Both countries - the fastest growing economies in the world - sealed agreements to cooperate in energy, transport and infrastructure.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the visit an important step in the growing relationship between China and Turkey.

"We said let's raise our trade volume to $50 billion by 2015. And as the second phase, by 2020 let's aim to reach a volume of $100 billion. We have agreed upon this with my counterpart," said  Erdogan.

China Premier Wen Jiabao, described the transaction as a new "strategic partnership", saying he recognized Turkey's "power and influence in the international community and its region".

Both countries - the fastest growing economies in the world - sealed agreements to cooperate in energy, transport and infrastructure.

One of the agreements would open the way for the joint construction of 4,500-kilometer railway in Turkey. Chinese companies are already involved in the construction of railroads for two high-speed train links. Turkey and China are also involved in projects to build oil pipelines from Iran.

Mr. Erdogan said the two countries have also agreed to carry out their trade in their national currencies.

Let's continue our business transactions based on yuan and Turkish lira," he said. "This would be the most important step after the similar steps we took with Russia and Iran."

But analysts  say trade may not be the only motive behind the Chinese premier's visit.

Turkey's ties with China have been strained at times, mostly over Beijing's approach to unrest in Xinjiang, home to China's Muslim Turkish minority Uighurs.  Some analysts says China believes Turkey can play a role in helping to resolve tensions. Last year China was hit by major Uighur unrest which was violently put down by Chinese authorities.

That strained Turkish-Chinese relations with an angry diplomatic exchange. The Turkish prime minister  accused China of committing atrocities, Beijing retorted telling Turkey to back down.

Political columnist Murat Yetkin says while trade is the backbone behind deepening relations, it seems to have moved into the diplomatic realm.

"Right before this visit, there was bilateral military exercise in Turkey where Chinese jets were involved in flying over Pakistani and Iranian airspace," said Yetkin. "And, this was the first time ever, a Chinese air force had a military exercise with a NATO country. So Turkish-Chinese relations are getting more and more upfront."

Businessman Omer Bollat, the former head of  Musiad -  a Turkish business confederation - says relations with China is part of a wider policy of reducing its dependancy on Europe.

"The Turkish economy with present government has been opening up to Eurasia markets, Russia Caucasus, Balkans, Middle Eastern gulf countries, African countries in particular North African countries," said Bollat. "And the Turkish economy is diversifying its products, its services, and its markets not to be too much dependent on the European Union market."

Turkish foreign policy adviser Gokhan Cetinsayar says while in the past previous Turkish leaders tried to develop ties with central Asia and China,  those efforts failed due to a weak economy and unstable government. But, he says Turkey's ruling AKP believes with the country's strong economy and government such goals are obtainable.

"AKP's foreign policy doctrine, Turkey with its strategic depth, geographic depth, Turkey with its economic and military power, should certainly play a leading role in the region including the Middle East," said Cetinsayar. "Turkey should become a global power in the long run."

The Turkey stop was part of the final leg of the Chinese premier's four-nation European trip that started October 2, which also took him to Greece, Belgium, Germany and Italy.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid