Killings of Uighurs tense Turkey, China ties in 2009

Turkish President Gul's visit to China between June 24 and 29 was the one of the most important developments in Turkey-China relations in 2009.

Killings of Uighurs tense Turkey, China ties in 2009

Turkish President Abdullah Gul's visit to China between June 24 and 29 was the one of the most important developments in Turkey-China relations in 2009. Gul was the first Turkish president visiting China after 14 years.

President Gul and Chinese President Hu Jintao attended ceremonies held on signing of several agreements between the two countries after their meeting on June 25, 2009.

Delivering a speech during his visit to China, Gul said that there was a huge imbalance in trade between the two countries. "China has investments worth billions of dollars across the world. It made investments worth 90 billion U.S. dollars abroad last year. The country's investments in Turkey amount to only 60 million U.S. dollars. Turkey has more investments in China," he said. Gul said Chinese businessmen were interested in the sectors of energy, power plant construction, oil and mining in Turkey.

Gul said 60,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey this year, and authorities should search the ways to boost the figure.

President Gul delivered a speech at Xinjiang University in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the northwestern China. The university awarded Gul with the title of honorary doctorate.

Incidents that took place in Urumqi on July 5 brought Turkish-Chinese relations to a different ground.

Many protested the Chinese government's handling of a fight between Uighur and Han Chinese workers at a toy factory late June. Two Uighur workers were killed in the strife. The official figures showed that 197 people died and more than 1,600 people were injured in riots which erupted after killing of two Uighur workers.

Turkish government's and public opinion's sensitivity to these incidents caused tension between the two countries.

China's former ambassador to Turkey Song Aiguo visited the Turkish capital of Ankara after these developments. Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan conveyed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's message to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to China between August 28 and September 1.

Caglayan paid another visit to Beijing between September 24 and 27 for a meeting of Turkish-Chinese Joint Economic Committee. The relations were normalized thanks to several mutual visits.

Several Turkish authorities including military officials and ministers paid formal visits to China. Several Chinese officials also visited Turkey in 2009.

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Last Mod: 02 Ocak 2010, 18:59
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