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Turkish foreign minister discusses economic ties, global issues during China visit

Türkiye’s foreign minister discussed economic ties, global concerns and the situation of Uyghur Turks during his visit to China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

Hakan Fidan put forth concrete proposals aimed at reducing the trade deficit between the two countries and emphasized that China is Türkiye’s largest trade partner in Asia and third-largest in the world.

He also urged China to import more Turkish agricultural and food products.

Additionally, Fidan conveyed Ankara’s wish for Beijing to encourage more Chinese tourists to travel to Türkiye and for China to cooperate in the field of energy, including nuclear energy.

Discussions also centered on encouraging more Chinese companies to invest in Türkiye and harmonizing efforts on the Middle Corridor and the Belt and Road Initiatives.

Global issues, Uyghur Turks

During his discussions, Fidan addressed global issues, including the Palestinian situation, where both Ankara and Beijing called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, endorsing a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital.

Fidan also expressed satisfaction at the common understanding between Türkiye and China on establishing fair and lasting peace in Ukraine.

He also reiterated Ankara’s adherence to the “One China” policy concerning Taiwan.

Fidan’s discussions on the situation regarding Uyghur Turks revealed Türkiye’s views on this matter to the Chinese authorities in Beijing and Xinjiang with sincerity and clarity.

Notably, Fidan’s visit marked the highest-level trip to the Xinjiang region since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 2012 visit when he was prime minister. During a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Tuesday, Fidan described Urumqi and Kashgar as “Turk-Islamic cities.”

Fidan’s engagements were highly beneficial for directly observing the situation in Xinjiang and effectively conveying Türkiye’s perspectives to the local authorities.

During the discussions, it was also emphasized that Türkiye respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, with no intention of interfering in its internal affairs.

It was also highlighted that Ankara attaches great importance to the Uyghur Turks, pointing out their role as a bridge between China and both the Turkic and Islamic worlds.

Fidan conveyed Türkiye’s desire for Uyghur Turks to live in prosperity and peace as well as all other communities in China to the Chinese officials, reminding them that the sensitivities of the Turkish and Islamic world regarding the protection of the cultural rights of Uyghur Turks and the preservation of their values were well known to everyone.

Fidan’s engagements in Beijing included meetings with high-ranking Chinese officials, including Chen Wenqing, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, Vice President Han Zheng and Foreign Minister Wang.

After concluding his discussions in Beijing, Urumqi and Kashgar, Fidan departed China to return to Türkiye.​​​​​​​