Ankara's significance for Beijing increases after One Belt One Road: Chinese envoy

Published 22.10.2017 21:58

Turkey and China are working together in strategic cooperation to further boost relations for new projects that have evolved since the commencement of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, Chinese Consul General Qian Bo said.

Speaking on China's CRI Türk radio channel, the Chinese consul general stressed that both China and Turkey, "with a mutual history of splendid civilizations," are emerging markets in the modern world and have a lot in common.

Underlining that Ankara has become increasingly significant for Beijing since the latter began the OBOR initiative, Bo said: "After China initiated the [OBOR] initiative, we became very interested in working with our Turkish partners to match our development strategies, meaning that we want to align the OBOR initiative with the Turkish middle corridor development strategy."

The Chinese consul general asserted that both sides are engaged in joint discussions on major strategic projects. "We are working together to discuss and negotiate answering major strategic projects which, in my opinion, will have tremendous benefits for Turkish society," he said.

When asked about the overall state of bilateral ties between Ankara and Beijing, Bo said: "The relationship between China and Turkey is one of strategic cooperation, meaning that both countries look at our relationship from a long-term perspective. Furthermore, our relationship should be a cooperative and beneficial relationship for both sides. I think that China and Turkey have a lot in common."

In addition to economic partnership, Bo said that Ankara and Beijing can share concerns on issues in the Middle East. "Therefore, I think that both countries, as long as we work on the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit. I'm sure that we can work together and make bigger contributions to mankind," he asserted.

Regarding Chinese investors' interests in Turkey, Bo said that he has observed a growing trend. "A large number of Chinese-founded enterprises are starting doing business in Istanbul. For instance, the industrial and commercial bank of China recently granted credit and an extension loan to Vakıfbank and Eximbank of Turkey. A Turkish branch of the bank of China will start to operate in Turkey very soon."

Underlining that such activities point to the high level of Chinese interest in Turkey, Bo said: "This will be very beneficial for trade and our economic relations. So, I believe that as long as the two countries consolidate our mutual political thrust and promote the spirit of the Silk Road, cooperation between Ankara and Beijing and the potential of this cooperation will be tremendous."

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