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Erdogan’s second visit to China as president


09-02-2016 16:43 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been invited to attend the G20 Summit. This is Erdogan’s second visit to China as president.

Last year’s G20 Summit was held in Turkey’s Antalya province. The summit reflected a strong emphasis on inclusiveness and developmental issues involving sustainable development goals, energy access, climate change, and the refugee crisis.

For the first time in the G20 history, this year’s summit will add innovation as an important topic for discussion. The recent G20 National Innovation Competitiveness Development report ranked Turkey second among G20 economies on innovation sustainability. The report measures the national innovation competitiveness of 19 G20 economies, excluding the European Union, based on their performance in five major innovation areas.

Erdogan says Turkey is an important site on the ancient Silk Road. The president says Turkey supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative. He expressed hope that Turkey and China can deepen their cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The two countries have had successful past infrastructure project cooperation in railways, nuclear and renewable energy and banking. Erdogan said he expects to see the two countries work closer in such sectors as telecommunications, mining, and transportation.

Political analysts say Turkey now faces many challenges, including domestic politics, Turkish-Russian ties, terrorism, and the refugee crisis. Turkey says it aims to try and resolve some of its diplomatic issues through multilateral and bilateral meetings at the G20 Summit.

China is Turkey’s second-biggest trading partner in the world and Turkey’s largest partner in Asia. The two countries agreed in 2010 to upgrade their relationship to strategic cooperation level.

Trade between the two countries has grown steadily from U.S.$328 million in 1990 to U.S.$27.3 billion in 2015. Turkey has been facing political uncertainties in recent times but its economy grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016. That made it one of world’s the fastest growing economies.

Turkish President Erdogan earlier wrote an article in the Chinese media that said the bilateral relationship between Turkey and China should be expanded to all levels of society.

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