China and Turkey agree to boost cooperation on infrastructure

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Cavusoglu’s visit comes just weeks ahead of Turkey’s presidential election. The two top diplomats’ discussion was centered on the potential fields for cooperation.

“We believe that improving China-Turkey strategic ties and deepening cooperation in all fields in the new era are fully in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries,” Wang said.

The two sides agreed to boost cooperation on infrastructure developments.

The Belt and Road Initiative stretches northwest from China’s coastal regions through Central Asia and into Europe. As a landmark on the Silk Road Economic Belt and an important part of the Islamic world, Turkey has a lot to offer to China, mainly via political cooperation.

“We agree that facing the uncertainty of current international affairs, China and Turkey should place the focus on maintaining strategic stability,” Wang said.

Wang added the two sides should work on maintaining national security and help further develop the emerging economies.

Cavusoglu said the two countries are working closely on de facto projects in various fields.

“China is playing an increasingly important role in regional and international issues. By promoting the solution of these issues, we very much appreciate the fair stand of the Chinese side,” said Cavusoglu. “We are also very pleased to see that the Turkish standpoints align with China’s in many regional and international affairs. We are willing to cooperate with the Chinese side to promote peace and come up with political solutions to relevant concerns.”

Turkey is a dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The cooperation between Ankara and Beijing can further promote SCO economic integration and counter-terrorism, while fighting separatism and extremism. These are the exact, primary goals of the SCO.

Wei Liping, a research fellow from the Pangoal Institution, said Turkey plays a critical role in balancing the relationship between China, Russia, the US as well as other parts of the world.

“Turkey is a major bridge between China and Europe. That is why we see it as a very important partner on our Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

Since China and Turkey elevated their ties to the level of “strategic cooperation” in 2010, the mutual high-level visits have put a positive spin on bilateral relations. The deepening political trust has allowed both sides to provide more preferential policies that benefit the two nations.

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