Interview: Turkey hopes to elevate relations with China to higher level: Turkish ambassador

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-06 02:01:27|Editor: Yurou
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The new Turkish Ambassador to China Abdulkadir Emin Onen receives an interview with Xinhua in Ankara, Turkey, on Nov. 22, 2017. Abdulkadir Emin Onen said Turkey hopes to elevate Turkey-China relations to a higher level.(Xinhua/Qin Yanyang)

ANKARA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The new Turkish Ambassador to China Abdulkadir Emin Onen said Turkey hopes to elevate Turkey-China relations to a higher level.

Onen, also the former member of Turkish parliament and chairman of the Turkey-China Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, made the remark during a recent interview with Xinhua.

He said that Turkey-China relations have already improved under the frame of strategic partnership with common effort.

Onen highlighted that political relations between the two countries are very good, adding that presidents of Turkey and China have met several times in recent years and took important steps to improve bilateral relations.

The ambassador said one of his priorities during the new term is to increase trade volume.

"Our current trade volume is 28 billion U.S. dollars and we're working on our trade relations to increase this figure to 50 billion dollars and eventually to 100 billion dollars," he said, noting that Turkey will attempt to increase mutual direct investment and attract more Chinese investment to Turkey.

"Increasing trade between the two countries, bilateral agreements on various fields, including construction of railways and high-speed trains, and increasing number of Chinese investors in large-scale projects provide bright prospect to bilateral relations in future," Onen said.

Onen also appreciated China's Belt and Road Initiative, emphasizing that many infrastructural investments like railway and port constructions are being realized under this important project. He said Belt and Road Initiative will not only improve the cultural relations between Turkey and China, but also benefit all countries that are covered in.

In regards to Turkey's participation in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Onen told Xinhua that Turkey, a dialogue partner at present, already has a full-membership bid to this prominent organization, and wants to increase cooperation with SCO and other organizations in Asia economically and politically.

"I know and love China and its people. I want the two countries to know each other better," the ambassador said.

Before his political career in parliament, Onen lived in Guangzhou for three years and got familiar to Chinese culture at that time.

To promote the people-to-people exchange, the new ambassador attached much importance to tourism and education cooperation.

Talking on tourism cooperation, Onen said 2018 is to be celebrated as Turkey Tourism Year in China, during which approximately 50 projects will be held to introduce Turkey's tourist hotspots to Chinese public. Onen expected Turkey could attract 1 million Chinese tourists per year to this "open-air cultural museum with various civilizations."

Meanwhile, Onen said the two countries should improve student cooperation and exchange programs, encourage Turkish and Chinese language studies mutually, to improve understanding between young people of Turkey and China.