By Tevfik Durul and Fuat Kabakci
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed security ties with Beijing on Thursday.
He was visiting China ahead of a trip to the Philippines, where he will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila.
“We see China's security as our security,” the minister told a news conference with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. “We do not permit any negative actions against China in our country or region.”
Cavusoglu’s visit follows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s trip in May, where he met President Xi Jinping and attended a meeting on China’s One Belt, One Road project, which aims to stimulate global trade and growth through a campaign of infrastructure development.
It was the fourth meeting between Erdogan and Xi since 2015.
Turkey is also looking to boost ties in education, tourism and culture, Cavusoglu added. “We hope that Chinese tourist numbers will increase,” he said. “We expect 3 million of 100 million [Chinese] tourists going abroad every year to come to Turkey.”
Agricultural produce is leading the rise in trade between the countries, the minister added, as Turkey continues negotiations with China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yi, for his part, also underlined the importance of China-Turkey relations in terms of security.
"China will decisively support Turkey in its efforts to protect its sovereignty, stability and security," Yi said.
Referring to the recent developments at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Yi said the Palestinian issue "is the basis of the chaos in the Middle East," and should be solved through dialogue and negotiation.
"If the Palestinian issue is not solved, peace will not be possible in the Middle East," he said, adding they expect the issue to be solved jointly with the international society including Turkey, which has a "special position" in the matter.
After China, Cavusoglu will travel to Manila to meet foreign ministers from 26 nations at the ASEAN summit.
Although not a member of the 10-country bloc, Turkey formed ties with ASEAN in 1999, attended its first summit in 2013 and has applied for ASEAN partnership.