The point on the presence of Chinese companies such as Huawei and Zte in Turkey and on the trade relations between China by Xi and Turkey by Erdogan
“Erdogan is turning Turkey into a Chinese satellite”.
The analysis of relations between Turkey and China by the Geopoltical Center (GC), an Italian site specializing in foreign affairs and in the topics of Defense and Security, begins by evoking an eloquent title in Foreign Policy magazine.
A title that would have appeared absurd just ten years ago, when Erdogan was among the highest voices to denounce the condition of the Uighurs, the Chinese Muslim minority of Xinjiang persecuted by the Beijing regime, without even hesitating to evoke the crudest word: genocide.
IN 2009 TURKEY CLAIMED THE GENOCIDE OF THE UYGURS
In 2009, Turkey, the GC points out, was a safe haven for Uighurs fleeing their homeland.
But in 2016 there was a sudden change; Turkish authorities extradite a very famous Uighur activist, Abdulkadir Yapcan, who had lived in the country for some time, to China. The following year Turkey and China signed a very extensive extradition agreement, and since then many Uighurs residing in Turkey have been arrested and repatriated.
SINCE 2016 TURKEY HAS NO LONGER PROTECTED THE UYGURS
The GC's explanation is very clear: "At a time of great economic difficulty, China has offered its help to Turkey, and this automatically entails Ankara's approval of Chinese actions and silence in front of certain practices for which Beijing does not tolerate interference and disputes ".
Indeed, since 2016, the collaboration between China and Turkey takes off and expands exponentially, to the point that in just 4 years 10 bilateral agreements have been signed.
IN JUST 4 YEARS TURKEY AND CHINA HAVE SIGNED 10 BILATERAL AGREEMENTS
China currently ranks as the second largest importer of Turkish products after Russia, with a volume of trade that in 2018 amounted to around 23 billion dollars, of which 20 billion of imports from China. An abysmal deficit of 17 billion of which Turkey is the great beneficiary.
23 BILLION COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE, OF WHICH 20 OF IMPORTS FROM CHINA
Relationships were also consolidated in terms of investments. Numerous Chinese entrepreneurs have invested around 3 billion dollars in Turkey, mainly in infrastructure in the period 2016-2018, with a sum that is expected to double by the end of 2020.
In 2018, China proclaimed "the year of Turkish tourism", urging its citizens to visit Turkey. The result was the nearly 400,000 Chinese tourists who responded to the call, which resulted in an increase in the tourist flow of the country. 60% compared to the previous year: a trend that should have continued this year if the pandemic had not got in the way.
But China knows the most effective techniques to help countries in difficulty: when the value of the Turkish lira plummeted by 40% in 2018, the (state-owned) Commercial Bank of China granted loans to Turkey worth of $ 3.6 billion for energy and transportation projects.
TURKISH BANKS HAVE HELPED THE TURKISH ECONOMY SEVERAL TIMES
Last year, the Chinese central bank also intervened in much less critical conditions: Erdogan had simply lost the municipal elections and the Bank decided to transfer 1 billion dollars in cash to his Turkish sister.
When, during this tragic year, the Turkish economy already in recession was further crippled by the pandemic crisis, China immediately decided how to help its new partner: starting from June, Turkish companies were authorized to use the Chinese currency. for commercial transactions, allowing them easier access to Chinese liquidity.
SINCE JUNE TURKISH COMPANIES HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED TO USE THE CHINESE CURRENCY
And then there are telecommunications, those that have seen the US create problems in half the world to hinder the rise of Huawei, But in Turkey the Chinese giant has become an exceptional player, with a market share that has risen from 3% in the 2017 at 30% in 2019.
IN CHINA HUAWEI AND ZTE OPERATE UNCONTRASTED AND WITH GREAT SUCCESS
And to operate in Turkey is also another black beast of the White House, ZTE , which has acquired 48% of the shares of Netas, the most important Turkish hardware manufacturer in the telecommunications field, which is also dealing with installations at the new Istanbul airport and digitization of the national database of the Ministry of Health.
After the review of Turkish-Chinese economic relations, the GC naturally wonders where so much generosity on the Chinese side comes from. The answer has a precise name and is called the Belt and Road Initiative, which sees Turkey as one of its focal points.
CHINESE GENEROSITY IS EXPLAINED WITH TURKEY'S STRATEGIC POSITION IN THE BRI
Turkey has already completed the railway that connects the east of the country with Baku, Azerbaijan, where it in turn connects to the transport system that starts from China.
In January of this year, a Chinese consortium acquired 51% of the shares of the Yavuz Sultan Selim bridge which connects Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus. Also this year, China's Export and Credit Insurance Corporation pledged up to 5 billion to Turkey to finance other projects related to the Silk Road.
In short, the advantages of Italian-Turkish cooperation are tangible on both sides.
Erdogan, faced with the crisis that is gripping his country, did not have to appeal to Western partners or to American-led institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, which would require serious reforms and changes that the Sultan has no intention of implement.
For its part, China, as the GC points out, "acquires a bridgehead on the Mediterranean (which is perfectly connected to the motherland by a modern transport network) and a capacity for projection of force towards Europe and Africa".
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/huawei-zte-e-non-solo-come-erdogan-ha-spalancato-la-turchia-alle-aziende-della-cina/ on Fri, 25 Sep 2020 05:52:12 +0000.