Xi Jinping calls on Erdogan to “consolidate political trust” between Beijing and Ankara

Could Asia soon have two great friends at each end? On the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday. If both exchange regularly with Vladimir Putin, and refuse to align themselves with Western sanctions within the framework of the war in Ukraine, the dialogue between Beijing and Ankara is not always self-evident.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has several times in the past signified to Beijing his concern for the well-being of the Uyghurs, a Muslim and Turkish-speaking Chinese minority whose main members live in Xinjiang. However, China is regularly accused by human rights organizations of oppressing this population. In early September, the UN also acknowledged in a report that China was committing “serious human rights violations” in Xinjiang, including locking Uyghurs in labor camps.

Targeted by Emmanuel Macron

But Beijing and Ankara now have common interests, allies and enemies. Turkey, like China, was thus accused at the end of August by French President Emmanuel Macron of having an “influence, neocolonial and imperialist agenda” in Africa. Ankara had denounced “unacceptable” and “unwelcome” comments.

“Both sides should consolidate political mutual trust, sincerely respect each other’s core interests, and consolidate the political foundations of China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations,” Xi Jinping was quoted by CCTV as saying after his briefing. interview with Erdogan. “We should focus on development cooperation and take full advantage of the roles and advantages of the various cooperation mechanisms between our two countries. The Chinese statement makes no mention of Xinjiang or the Uyghurs.

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