AK Party Deputy Chair Eker: Terrorist groups aim to prevent China's Belt and Road Project

ALI ÜNAL @ali_unal

Ruling AK Party Deputy Chair in charge of Foreign Relations, Mehdi Eker, said that close cooperation between China and Turkey is essential to prevent terrorist organizations from undermining China's One Belt and One Road project.

"Terrorist organizations, such as Daesh, PKK and FETÖ, are trying to prevent China's Belt and Road project. Thus, close cooperation between our countries is essential," Eker said during the visit of a delegation by China's Communist Party led by Hu Changsheng, director-general of the Communist Party's Organization Department in the Fujian Province to AK Party headquarters in Ankara on Dec. 28.

Underlining the importance of dialogue and close cooperation in various fields between China and Turkey, Eker said to increase commonalities between China and Turkey would solve regional and global problems. Eker voiced Turkey's support for the "One Belt, One Road" project, an intercontinental trade and infrastructure initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. "The Belt and Road Project covers the whole Eurasian region and will contribute to trade, economy, diplomacy and cultural exchange in the whole region as well as global peace and security," Eker added.

Hu Changsheng said in response that as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) they want to strengthen communication and cooperation between Turkey's AK Party and the CCP and that both the AK Party and the CCP could benefit from their ruling experiences.

Emphasizing that Chinese and Turkish bilateral relations have gained new momentum in recent years, Hu said that good personal relations between President Xi Jinping and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also helped to improve relations and strengthen cooperation between the two countries: "In recent years we have built several new mechanisms to improve our relations. The first dialogue meeting between CCP and AK Party that we are holding today can also be considered as one of these new mechanisms. We will develop and deepen our relations between our commercial, economic, political and cultural relations with Turkey by effectively using these mechanisms."

Providing information about the 19th National Congress of the CCP that took place in October, Hu said that China entered a new era after the CCP Congress and the results will provide opportunities to Chinese-Turkish relations.

‘‘Turkey has made significant achievements under AK Party leadership while working to reach its 2023 vision. The AK Party administration prioritized the rate of economic growth and gave importance to the quality of economic development such as its sustainability and inclusiveness. These policies are in line with policies determined at the 19th Congress. Thus we wish to increase common understanding," Hu said.

Emphasizing that they want to improve bilateral trade volume between Turkey and China to $50 billion, Hu said that China and Turkey could increase cooperation in infrastructure, finance and tourism.

Since Turkey is located on the Middle Corridor of China's Belt and Road Project, which was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the CPC is willing to develop and reinforce a partnership with Turkey and the AK Party.

In the 19th National Congress of the CCP stressed China's support of the Belt and Road initiative along with the Middle Corridor project between China and Turkey. Therefore, these projects will expected actively bring these two countries together and serve their development strategies.

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