Turkish government spoke highly of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccines and expressed its willingness to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation with China and push the bilateral relations to a different height. Commenting on it, Chinese analysts said, they believe it showed that Ankara has been increasingly independent in its diplomacy rather than being bound by some coalition such as NATO or blindly following the US.
Chinese newspaper the Global Times said, during a phone call with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey believes that Chinese COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and Turkey will make urgent purchases from China.
Cavusoglu congratulated China on its successful control of the epidemic and highly appreciated its achievements in vaccine research and development.
Cavusoglu also stressed that Turkey opposes any form of terrorism and the politicization of counter-terrorism issues, and will not allow anyone in the country to undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Turkey would like to further improve bilateral relations amid the 50 years of diplomatic ties, Cavusoglu said.
Political mutual trust is the foundation of the strategic cooperative relationship between the two countries, Wang said.
Turkey’s decision to purchase Chinese COVID-19 vaccines reflects its trust in China, and China is ready to provide necessary assistance to Turkey, Wang said.
Wang said that China and Turkey have conducted fruitful cooperation in medical supplies, sharing of anti-epidemic experience and phase III clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Wang said that China and Turkey share a common concern in fighting terrorism and maintaining national security and stability, noting that the two sides should oppose blatant “double standards” when it comes to fighting terrorism.
Noting that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement is a global terror group designated by the international society, Wang said that it is the obligation of all countries to combat the group, and China is willing to carry out more in-depth anti-terror cooperation with Turkey.
Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that China-Turkey relations have taken a giant step forward recently out of economic and strategic needs, and Turkey has increasingly stressed its independence in diplomacy to take actions based on its own interests.
“When some Western countries kept using China’s Xinjiang affairs to smear China’s international image, Turkey’s attitude on key issues such as anti-terrorism is quite commendable. Turkey’s understanding of China is more balanced and objective, and it does not blindly follow the US and NATO,” Li said.
The recent actions of Turkey showed that it’s making practical moves to develop relations with China and we could expect promising and fruitful bilateral relations, Li said.
Cao Wei, executive director of the national security research center of the School of Politics and International Relations at Lanzhou University, told the Global Times that as a member of NATO, Turkey used to be close to the West. But in recent years, the situation has changed as it has come closer to Russia with weapon deals, and has frictions with EU countries over maritime issues in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Cao said that despite Turkey’s recent positive remarks on anti-terrorism issues in China, China also needs to watch its actions.