“ When I arrived in Shanghai, a city with a population of six million, I felt like I was in one of the most grandiose cities of Europe...” A Turkish traveller visiting China, 1920
Background During the Cold War: As a member of NATO, Turkey was geostrategically located as a buffer against possible threats from the Socialist Block. Turkey’s economic and social concerns were entirely Western in orientation. “ While WEST was the symbol of beauty, EAST was the Beast” Post-Cold War: Turkey as a “bridge connecting west with the east.”
Background Turkey’s foreign policy priorities: European Union accession Transatlantic structures Role in the Middle East Eurasia Having these priorities does not necessarily mean that the Asia-Pacific region should be neglected! Turkey has to build adequate relations with the countries in the region.
How does Turkey see China today? A new superpower to establish balance? Or a regional power far from us?
How does Turkey see China today? An economic threat stealing our jobs? Or a good business partner?
How does Turkey see China today? A threat? Or an opportunity?
Political Relations Official contacts date from 1925. First Turkish diplomatic mission opened in Nanjing in 1929. Turkey recognised the People’s Republic of China on 5 August 1971. Turkey adheres to the “One China” policy, recognising the People’s Republic China as the sole legal representative of China. Mutual trust Respect for national sovereignty Respect for territorial integrity Non-interference in internal affairs Similar views on international issues No fundamental conflicts of interest
Political Relations Separatism is a shared concern... Struggle against terrorism draws China and Turkey together in the post-September 11 environment. Military ties are slowly growing, however currently limited to personnel exchanges.
Political Relations High level visits: President: December 1982: Kenan Evren March 1984: Li Xiannian 李先念 May 1995: Süleyman Demirel April 2000: Jiang Zemin 江 泽 民 Prime Minister: July 1985: Turgut Özal July 1986: Zhao Ziyang 赵 紫阳 April 2002: Zhu Rongji 朱 镕 基 Joint Comminiqué on Bilateral Cooperation during Jiang Zemin’s visit to Turkey in April 2000.
Political Relations High level visits: (January 2003: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the leader of the ruling party ) Minister of Foreign Affairs: September 1990: Qian Qichen 钱 其琛 February 1998: İsmail Cem February 2001: Tang Jiaxuan 唐家璇 February 2005: Abdullah Gül
Economic Relations “ If we manage to sell one single orange to every Chinese, we will get rich...” (1982)
Economic Relations IRRATIONAL PRAGMATISM RATIONAL PRAGMATISM LONG TERM APPROACH Myth of the huge market. Lack of knowlege. Barriers against market entry. Result: No win. Benefiting from low costs. Importing easier than exporting. Lower barriers. Result: Short term win. Multi-dimensional: Export, import, investment. Keyword: competitive advantages complementing each other. Globally integrated Chinese economy. Result: Long term mutual benefits.
Economic Relations Turkey is facing a rapidly increasing trade deficit against China. Wrong question to ask: “Why are our imports so high?” Correct question to ask: “Why are our exports so low?” Turkey and China compete against each other in: textile, food, light industry, etc. Turkey’s entry into Chinese market has been primarily for “niche” goods. Diversification is necessary.
Economic Relations Wrong : Protectionist measures only. Pressure on China to buy more from us. Make China a “scapegoat”. Correct : Identify the areas where Turkey’s competitive advantages match with China’s changing conditions and requirements. Example: luxury items, such as jewelry, construction materials. Turn the “threats” into “opportunities” by adapting to the changing rules of the game. Example: textiles.
Economic Relations TURKISH INVESTMENTS IN CHINA Çimtaş: Engineering, steel construction. Factory in Ningbo. Demirdöküm: Heating systems. Factory in Dongguan Province. Fabeks: Silk and cashmere. Factory in Inner Mongolia. Akman: Beverages. JV factory in Yantai. Atasay: Jewelry. Temporary factory in Guangzhou. Ünsa: Polipropylene bags. Factory in Hangzhou. Sabancı Holding to finalise the purchase of nylon factory in Qingdao. Trading by Şişecam, Tema, Hipokrat, Goldaş and more. Representative offices of Garanti Bankası and İş Bankası. Investment by Bahçeşehir Educational Institutions.
Economic Relations Investing in China: Advantage of low costs. Use China as a hub, export to third countries. Entry to the Asia-Pacific region. BUT: Investment should be a two-way road! Attract Chinese investment to Turkey: Support for Turkish exports. Value added to local economies in form of tax revenues and employment.
Road Map Turkey needs a comprehensive “Asia-Pacific Strategy”, covering not only the economic dimension, but also political, social and cultural ones. NGOs Academic institutions Government Private Sector
Road Map <ul><li>Turks and Chinese have to learn and understand each other better. </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of China in Turkey: </li></ul><ul><li>Low priced goods. </li></ul><ul><li>Mystical country. </li></ul><ul><li>Martial arts movies. </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese food. </li></ul>Cultural programs. Language learning. Academic cooperation. Encourage tourism!
Road Map <ul><li>More high-level state visits. </li></ul><ul><li>Good preparation before the visit. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up after the visit. </li></ul><ul><li>To the point, with concrete items in the agenda. </li></ul><ul><li>ACTION instead of TALK . </li></ul>
Road Map <ul><li>Building bridges! </li></ul><ul><li>Stronger representation (embassies, consulates, etc). They should be improved both in quantity and quality. </li></ul><ul><li>Student exchanges. </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese in Turkey and Turks in China: Good will ambassadors. </li></ul>