Turkey-China relations will gain momentum in 2018
Chen Su, Deputy Consul General of the People's Republic of China in İstanbul, stating that many events will be organized in both countries in the scope of China-Turkey Tourism Year 2018, said that; “"We must further strengthen the relationship between the people of the two countries. Political relations have captured a good trend, but the relations among the peoples are still not at the desired level. "
"Political relations got a good trend"
Explaining that relations between the two countries have improved gradually, Chen reminded that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Shi Cinping have met four times in the last two years.
Informing that 2018 has been declared the China-Turkey Tourism Year, Chen said that “Many events will be held in both countries within the scope of China-Turkey Tourism Year2018. We must further strengthen the relationship between the people of the two countries. Political relations have captured a good trend but the relations among the peoples are still not at the desired level. Each year, about 200 million Chinese go abroad for tourism purposes. They generally prefer America and Europe. Last year, the number of Chinese coming to Turkey remained at 160 thousand. This year, however, we think we have left this number behind. THY's arriving planes became Chinese. It is possible to come across the Chinese at every corner of Ataturk Airport. "
"The opinions of the Turks who went to China changed"
Drawing attention to Turkey's beauty, Chen said; " Turkey's cultural and geographical wonders began to be learned by the Chinese in recent years. It was not known before. Previously, the Chinese only knew Istanbul and Cappadocia. Istanbul is really a very modern city. It was the capital of the Ottomans and Eastern Rome. Previously there was a prejudice also against China. China was only known for imitation goods. The ideas of the Turks who went to China changed immediately. This interaction between the two peoples should be further strengthened."
Indicating that many large companies from China have invested in Turkey, Chen said “Especially Chinese banks have important activities in Turkey. Pointing to the importance of the "win-win" approach between the two countries, Chen said “More important than that is our friendship. Chinese tourists are showing more interest in Turkey every day. Our business people want to invest in Turkey.”
Turkey China Relations in New Era
Relations between Turkey and China, defined as strategic partnership in 2010, has entered a new era in the framework of attempts to become a full member to the Silk Road Project and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Turkey’s presence in the economic belt of the China's Silk Road Project(OBOR), one of the most important initiatives in 21st century, the signals it sends to the international community for its desire to be the SCO full membership has strengthened the position of Turkey in China's foreign policy and has increased its importance. In line with this importance, Turkey, which is just the SCO dialogue partner of the Energy Club, was brought to the 2017 Presidency.
There are certain factors that adversely impact the Turkey and China relations. The first of these factors, which cause the conversion to unilateral trade relations of bilateral trade relations, is the trade deficit against Turkey. As China became a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001, trade imbalances emerged in the relations. However, economic interests have been the driving force to develop and consolidate the relationship. As a result of currency swap between China and Turkey held on November 30, 2016, there are more attempts to use the local currency in their trade with each other, revealing the desire to develop economic relations of the two countries. With this strategic move, which encourages direct activity between the two currencies, it is likely that the current trade deficit, adversely affecting economic relations between the two countries against Turkey for many years, will also be overcome by increasing trade volume. For Turkey and China to manage to win-win cooperation and find areas of common interest, an important opportunity has been created. In the future, it is also possible to attract more Chinese investments and businesses to our country and provide the environment for the development of cooperation. The Silk Road Project gains value in this respect.
Turkey, as geostrategic position, is a country with a necessary and important role in the implementation of the Silk Road Project. In the New Silk Road initiative targeted to reach England from China, Turkey is continuing to work actively. Besides being a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's founding volunteers, Draft Memorandum of Understanding relating to the Silk Road Initiative in Turkey in 2015 and the Draft Agreement, was passed through the Turkish Grand National Assembly Foreign Relations Commission. It is expected that the part of the Turkish side, which is just unfinished, of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line starting from Baku in Azerbaijan and continuing from Tbilisi and Ahilkelek cities of Georgia to Kars, one of the railway lines that caused the new Silk Road to be called "Iron Silk Road"; will be completed in 2018. Thus, Turkey, by integrating development policies to the Silk Road Project, which combines Europe and Asia, will turn into a profitable attribute with China's direct investment and its growing economy. This attribute will serve important interests such as economic development, increasing investments, linking sectors and markets into each other, and meeting energy demands.
Despite the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and China in 1971 and experienced ups and downs, Turkish and Chinese have been influencing each other two nations in history. The creation of a reconciliatory collaborative effort and the creation of common interests rather than competition areas should be their objectives in the context of enhancing and strengthening the relations of the two countries. Both actors should evaluate opportunities and initiatives well. Silk Road Project and SCO membership are the most important of these opportunities. The realization of Turkish-Chinese joint ventures in third countries, the elimination of trade imbalances, the increase in investment, the provision of Chinese tourists coming to the country, are among Turkey's expectations.
Gaining strategic partnership dimension of the relations between Turkey and China, besides the strengthening of ties between two actors will contribute to the development of the multi-polar world order.