During a visit to Beijing on July 2, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for greater Turkish-Chinese economic and defence cooperation. His desire for closer ties represents a shift from Ankara’s earlier harsh criticism of Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur minority, Turkic Muslims with whom Turkey feels an affinity.
- Although cooperation in the defence industry may increase, China will be reluctant to share its latest military technology with Turkey.
- Erdogan is keen to show that Turkey can pick and choose its partners as it pleases.
- Purchasing the Russian S-400s and wooing China is probably part of this broader strategy to position Turkey as a global player.