Saturday, May 13, 2017

China, Turkey to strengthen cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative

Xinhua| 2017-05-13

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday the two countries will strengthen cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.  Erdogan is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which begins Sunday.  Xi spoke highly of Turkey's support for and active participation in the Belt and Road development, saying that China is ready to steadily advance major projects of cooperation with Turkey under the initiative.  The two countries should better align their strategies according to the principle of equality and mutual benefits, Xi said.  He urged continuous efforts to push forward cooperation on the Online Silk Road, facility construction and industrial cooperation, as well as to promote policy coordination and trade balance.  China welcomes the Turkish side to hold a Turkey tourism year in China in 2018, and is ready to boost bilateral people-to-people exchanges with the country, taking the opportunity of an agreement to set up cultural centers on both sides, Xi said.  He stressed that the development of China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations is in the fundamental interests of the two nations and their people.  The two sides should respect and accommodate with each other's core concerns and deepen security and anti-terrorism cooperation, Xi noted.  He also stressed that China is willing to step up communication with all parties to help achieve peace and stability in the Middle East at an early date.  Erdogan said Turkey holds a positive attitude toward advancing pragmatic cooperation with China, saying the upcoming forum is very important.