President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has met with U.S. President Donald Trump, and we will discuss the repercussions and consequences of this meeting in the upcoming days. I think the fact that President Erdoğan went to the U.S. from the Chinese capital of Beijing, where he also held meetings, is a crucial message. Erdoğan conveyed important messages during his speech in Beijing as well. As I see it, Erdoğan said what he had to say to the U.S., not in Washington but in Beijing.
Well, what happened in China? "The Belt and Road Forum" was a summit that Turkey joined as the central country. It was held under the theme of "Cooperation for Common Prosperity," and was also one of the most important summits of China's "New Silk Road" project which envisions huge infrastructure investments in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Deutsche Welle (DW), a German media outlet which offers publications in 30 languages, broadcasted the summit to the whole world with the message, "Even though billions of dollars of investments are aimed for and countries like Turkey have great expectations, cautious European countries do not see mutual interests in the project."
I do not know whether it goes for all European countries, but it is not hard to guess that Germany has no interests in the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project. In fact, this initiative is an alternative to foil Germany's strategy that it aims to actualize by making Eastern Europe its periphery and destabilizing Turkey. It is also the beginning of quite a realistic new world order. Let us also note that the outbreak of a crisis on the İncirlik Air Base between Turkey and Germany soon after this summit is a significant development.
In fact, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has been put into cold storage, not because Trump wanted this, but because it became clear that it would fail. The TTIP and its sister, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), are no longer on the agenda as they envisage a world where Asia Pacific and Turkey are statically positioned. Trump had already foreseen that if Asia Pacific was placed in its current state, it would do nothing but contribute to the U.S.'s foreign trade deficit.
China's OBOR project treats world trade as continuously growing and dynamic geographical areas that originate from the Pacific region and center on all countries along major commercial roads. And it rejects the current economic and political hierarchy. As such, it leaves behind the current world order, which regards Asia, the Middle East and even Eastern Europe as underdeveloped and unstable regions, and constantly creates instability in these territories through terror threats.
Erdoğan also touched on this issue in his opening speech during the summit and emphasized that this project would "destroy" terror. Then, we can clearly suggest that the world trade and monetary system established under the U.S. leadership after World War II was a new colonial system that was based on civil wars, partial local conflicts between countries and terrorism.
As such, it confined the world trade and monetary system to the U.S. as a center and to Europe as its lesser geography. This system was also built on the idea of further undermining all the underdeveloped regions of the world and cutting off their relations with each other.
Erdoğan began his speech by saying, "I believe this initiative will leave its mark on the future with the aim of linking Asia, Europe, Africa and even South America."
He also emphasized that upgrading the infrastructure plans and technical standards of countries which are located on the belt and road will contribute to the development of land, sea and air corridors on an inter-continental scale. The sharing and joint production of technology and cultural collaborations will be the most important pillars of this new world order.
One of the most important parts of Erdoğan's speech was, "The establishment of a system that is compatible with the political and economic field will pave the way for a new era based on stability and prosperity in our region. It is estimated that rapidly developing Asia needs to invest an average of $1.7 trillion annually until 2030 in areas such as growth, the fight against poverty, and necessary measures against climate change. A study on this scale requires acting with a sense of cooperation, rather than competition."
In this sense, from a broader perspective, all these developments include not just a trade regime in a period when the East has recovered to reshape the world economy. They also show where the new Industrial Revolution has started and in which centers it will continue.
The new industrial revolution, called Industry 4.0, is not a leap to be measured with the money to be spent on this area. This revolution will be the fruit of those who are capable of sharing information and technology in the most stable and sustainable manner and those who establish economic infrastructure and a legal superstructure. So this revolution will belong to those who share the technology, not the ones who keep it as before. The Western civilization relied on a kind of colonialization which was initially based on plundering in the period that led to the first Industrial Revolution and then it accumulated and hid everything in its own center.
China is aware of this. And we can say that Chinese President Xi Jinping, the architect of this project, successfully maintains Deng Xiaoping's path and is the pioneer of this new Chinese revolution. He knows Turkey's position in the new global paradigm shift China is planning, and it casts a greater role for Turkey than for both Iran and Russia.
As the leader of one of the starring and central countries of the summit, during which the East decided to establish a new world order, Erdoğan met with Trump in the U.S. Both Turkey and the U.S. voiced their own theses during the meeting. The U.S. is insisting on the policy of Barack Obama's period which relied on terror organizations and turned the region into a bloodbath. For Trump, this means a dead-end street and submitting to Obama's rotten policies. As a result, this meeting shows that nothing has changed in the realpolitik, but there are so many changes in other areas that nothing will be the same.