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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Turkish President Gul

On February 21, local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara.

Xi first conveyed the cordial greetings and good wishes from President Hu Jintao to Gul. He said President Gul is an old friend of Chinese people and has long been committed to promoting the development of bilateral friendly cooperative relations. Especially during Gul's visit in 2009, the two heads of state made important planning on China-Turkey relations, laying the foundation for the establishment of bilateral strategic cooperative relations.

Xi Jinping said that despite the distance keeping the two countries apart, the ancient Silk Road linked the two nations together and both sides jointly wrote a chapter of friendly exchanges and common progress for human civilization. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1971, especially in recent years, bilateral relations have made ​​significant progress. The Chinese side attaches great importance to developing China-Turkey relations and is ready to work with Turkey to constantly enrich China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations and make a positive contribution to the benefit of the two peoples as well as regional and world peace, stability and prosperity. Xi put forward four proposals on further developing China-Turkey relations.

First, high-level exchanges between the two countries can be maintained so as to consolidate strategic mutual-trust. "China attaches great importance to and welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to China," Xi said. The joint working groups between the two foreign ministries can play an important role to blueprint bilateral ties, he added. Both sides should continuously enrich, improve and make good use of this mechanism.

Second, practical cooperation can be expanded for common development. "China encourages and supports Chinese enterprises to increase import from Turkey and will address the trade imbalance in a comprehensive way," he said, adding China also welcomes Turkish corporations to invest in China.

Third, people-to-people and cultural exchanges can be increased. China is ready to continue to enhance exchanges and cooperation among think tanks and non-governmental organizations, he said, adding that tourism cooperation could also be expanded to cement the social basis of bilateral friendship.

Fourth, multi-lateral cooperation can be expanded for maintaining common interests. "China supports Turkey to play an active role in international and regional affairs and is ready to enhance cooperation with Turkey in the United Nations, the G20 and the IMF," Xi said. Both sides should maintain coordination and cooperation on international and regional hot issues to maintain common interests of both countries and other developing countries.

On the situation in West Asia and North Africa, Xi said China hopes that stability and normal order will be restored in relevant countries in the region as soon as possible. China respects and supports countries in the region in dealing with their domestic affairs independently, he said. China hopes that the international community, along with countries in the region, respects principles set forth in the United Nations Charter and basic norms of international law, and plays an active and constructive role in easing tensions in the region, Xi said. China supports all diplomatic mediatory efforts conducive to the restoration of stability in West Asia and North Africa. "China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the international community, including Turkey, and make unremitting efforts to promote peace, stability and development in West Asia and North Africa," he said.

Gul thanked for President Hu Jintao's greetings and asked him to convey his cordial greetings and good wishes to President Hu. He said that this year is the Year of the Dragon in China's lunar calendar. He said he would like to take this opportunity to wish Chinese people a happy new year of the dragon. The Turkish side spoke highly of Xi's choice of Turkey as a stop of his current tour, adding this shows the importance attached by the Chinese side to the development of Turkey-China relations and will greatly promote the development of the ties. China is committed to peaceful development, focuses on improvement of people's livelihood, never exports its values to foreign countries and enjoys growing international status and influence, for which the Turkish side expressed admiration. Under the new situation, Turkey is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in trade, energy, culture, tourism and railway infrastructure construction, deepen coordination in international affairs, and promote the strategic cooperative relations to a higher level. Gul reiterated that Turkey adheres to the one-China policy, always respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and resolutely opposes any form of terrorism.

After the talks, both sides attended the signing ceremony of relevant cooperation documents concerning economy, trade and other areas.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Gao Hucheng, International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, Chinese Ambassador to Turkey Gong Xiaosheng, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission and Shi Zhihong, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee attended the above activities.

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