By Gu Jianjun, post doctorate of Central Compilation and Translation Bureau
Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed in 2013 the Belt and Road initiatives, also known as the new Silk Road initiatives, which refer to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with a goal of reviving ancient trade routes between Asia and Europe.
Located at both ends of the Silk Road, China and Turkey are important strategic partners in cooperation of the new Silk Road Initiatives, How to forge a new Sino-Turkey strategic cooperative relationship is something urgent for both countries.
Invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan pays a state visit to China July 29-30 and also attends the Fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Beijing, which will promote a win-win and new Sino-Turkey strategic cooperation relationship.
Economic & trade cooperation under new Silk Road initiatives
Economic and trade cooperation between China and Turkey has developed quickly with huge potentials, and the new Silk Road Initiatives provide a larger platform for their pragmatic cooperation.
In 2013, bilateral trade between China and Turkey hit US$28.22 billion volume, year-on-year growth of 17.4 percent. China has become the third-largest trade partner, the 11th largest export market and the second-largest import country for Turkey. Turkey is an important country for China to do business, invest and undertake contract projects. In July 2014, the second phase project of the Ankara-Istanbul High Speed Railway completed by a Chinese company opened to traffic successfully.
Turkey and China have a large trade deficit. In 2014, Turkey imported about $25 billion in goods from China and its exports to China stood at $2.8 billion. It is believed that the new Silk Road initiatives will enable to upgrade Sino-Turkish cooperation and bring more job opportunities for the Turkish people, improve their living standards and boost the country’s economic growth.
China will invest more in Turkey especially in energy, transportation, contracted engineering, automobile parts, telecommunications and tourism.
In fact, in the first ten months of 2014, nearly 70 Chinese companies including Hainan Airlines, Huawei and New Hope have invested in Turkey with an aggregate investment of $190 million and year-on-year growth of 11.8 percent.
In May 2015, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China purchased Tekstil Bank for $250 million, marking a new chapter of financial cooperation between China and Turkey.
Turkey straddles Asia, Africa and Europe,connecting the East with the West The new Silk Road initiatives will facilitate Turkey playing a better role in economic and trade investment, industrial cooperation, personnel communications and goods movement.
Security cooperation under newSilk Road initiatives
Terrorist forces and activities along the Silk Road have been rampant in the Central Asia and Middle East regions.
China and Turkey need to forge an anti-terror consensus and carry out substantial cooperation on the so-called "East Turkistan Islamic" issue. The anti-terror standpoint and attitude of the Turkish government can help enhance Sino-Turkish political ties and contain separatist forces in Xinjiang, northwest China.
Stimulated by the security cooperation platform of CICA member countries, China and Turkey should strengthen cooperation in justice, police service, anti-terror mechanisms and information exchanges and building a cooperative security relationship.
Cultural exchanges under new Silk Road initiativesThe cooperation for the new Silk Road initiatives is not limited to commercial exchanges but also covers cultural communications.
The foundation for the cooperation in the initiatives lies in The exchanges between the peoples of China and Turkey. In recent years the cultural exchanges of the two countries have increased in various ways.
China and Turkey successfully held a culture year in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 and 2014, China and Turkey acted as the guest country of honor at the Istanbul International Book Fair and Beijing International Book Expo. China's Xinjiang performance troupe has attended the Nowruz festival in Turkey for many years. A total of 150,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkeyin 2014.
It is believed that promotion of the new Silk Road initiatives will further improve Sino-Turkish cooperation and deepen the mutual understanding of the peoples of the two nations. The ancient Silk Road will glow in the new era.
( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )
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