Chinese ambassador to Ankara Yu Hongyang highlighted the promising ties between China and Turkey, stressing the strengthening of political, economic and cultural relations.
Speaking at a reception on Thursday on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Yu said: "I have full faith that China and Turkey will go further by joining hands, gain mutual profit with cooperation and carry bilateral strategic cooperation to the next level, as a result of the efforts of both governments and people from all fields."
Prefacing that China is the world's second-biggest economy in the world with its gross domestic product (GDP) surpassing $11 trillion, Hongyang said that China would continue to offer opportunities and contribute to the world peace by increasing common interests with other countries.
National Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz attended the reception and extended his congratulations to the Chinese envoy for the founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China. He also said that relations between the two civilizations date back several millennia."
Citing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to China last May on the occasion of the Belt and Road summit where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Yılmaz said that frequent bilateral visits have been contributing to strategic relations. "Parallel to our excellent political relations, economic and trade relations between Turkey and China are developing dynamically. China is our biggest trade partner in East Asia and our second-biggest trade partner globally," Yılmaz said, adding that Ankara's aim is to double trade volume, which currently surpasses $27 billion. The Turkish government encourages Chinese companies to take part, in particular, in mega infrastructure projects in Turkey, he said.
Touching on tourism between Turkey and China, Yılmaz said that tourism offers significant opportunities for strengthening economic relations and increasing cultural relations and interaction between the people of the two countries.
He said that Turkish Airlines connects major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong to Turkey. "We expect to see more Chinese tourists starting in 2018, which was proclaimed as Turkey Tourism Year in China," Yılmaz said, adding that with the introduction of the e-visa system, travel for Chinese tourists has been made easier. He also said that they plan to open a Yunus Emre Cultural Center in Beijing next year to promote Turkish language, art and culture.
The Chinese ambassador also said that the Turkish Tourism Year would attract more Chinese tourists to Turkey, enhancing friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Mehdi Eker, Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek and AK Party Istanbul Deputy Ravza Kavakçı Kan also attended the reception along with many diplomatic representatives.