Maintaining momentum in relations between Turkey and China is crucial to both the welfare of their peoples and international stability, Turkey’s president said Monday.
“We are on the same page regarding President Xi's approach to the initiative, which is not only to improve transport and communication networks, to construct trade corridors and to harmonize trade policies and development strategies, but also to boost cultural and human ties in this framework,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua ahead of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday, referring to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
"We are acting in line with the conscience that the Sino-Turkish economic and trade partnership, besides its regional benefits, has potential to contribute to world peace, prosperity and stability," Erdogan said.
Erdogan stressed that the issues of economy, trade, tourism, investment, security, defense and counterterrorism will be given more priority as areas of bilateral cooperation while regional and international issues on the common agenda will also be discussed during his visit.
He also said Turkey is one of the first countries to support China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“There is a natural harmony between our Middle Corridor Initiative and China's Belt and Road Initiative,” Erdogan said. “This harmony allows us to cooperate with China in large geographies such as Central Asia and Africa.”
We have a concrete bilateral agenda on how we can improve our partnership," he said.
"I believe that we will witness together how our relations will be upgraded in all fields when we boost our consultations with our Chinese friends.”
Reporting by Ahmet Furkan Mercan and Fuat Kabakci
Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur