Turkey keen on upgrading strategic ties with China: Erdogan
Updated: 2015-07-29 09:52
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference before departing for Beijing in Ankara Esenboga Airport, Turkey, July 28, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
ANKARA - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that his country seeks to boost ties with China at all levels as part of "strategic cooperation" agreed upon by the two countries in 2010.
"There are some projects agreed upon with China within the strategic cooperation we launched in 2010, which we have to speed them up," Erdogan told reporters before he departed for Beijing, the first leg of a regional tour that will also take him to Indonesia and Pakistan.
This is Erdogan's first official state visit since he took the office in 2014.
Erdogan said he will meet with his Chinese counterpart, as well as the parliament speaker and the prime minister. He will also ink several agreements there.
He added that he will discuss issues about the G-20, currently under Turkey's presidency.
"I believe this visit will give more momentum to bilateral relations," Erdogan said, noting that a joint business forum will be held during his visit to Beijing.
Asked about the long-standing talks between the two countries to buy the Chinese long rage surface-to-air missile system, Erdogan recalled that China offered the most appropriate proposal in advance.
"But later, some developments have caused impediments. We'll discuss these issues again during this visit. Any offer that will enrich this appropriate proposal will be welcomed by us," said the Turkish president.
In 2013, Ankara accepted a bid from China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC) for its first anti-missile system of $3.4 billion, but the agreement is yet to be signed.
Ankara has also been conducting talks with US defense contractor Raytheon, the producer of the Patriot missile system, and French-Italian company Eurosam over their SAMP/T system.