ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey risks jeopardizing economic ties with China if it keeps criticizing Beijing’s treatment of Uighur Muslims, China’s envoy to Ankara warned, just as Chinese firms are looking to invest in Turkish energy and infrastructure mega-projects.
Last month Turkey broke a long silence over the fate of China’s Uighurs, saying more than one million people faced arbitrary arrest, torture and political brainwashing in Chinese internment camps in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang region.
Turkey - Foreign - Minister - Mevlut - Cavusoglu
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated Ankara’s concern at a United Nations meeting this week, calling on China to respect human rights and freedom of religion.
China has denied accusations of mistreatment and deems criticism at the United Nations to be interference in its sovereignty. Beijing says the camps are re-education and training facilities that have stopped attacks previously blamed on Islamist militants and separatists.
Disagreements - Misunderstandings - Friends - Dialogue - Friend
“There may be disagreements or misunderstandings between friends but we should solve them through dialogue. Criticizing your friend publicly everywhere is not a constructive approach,” said Deng Li, Beijing’s top diplomat to Ankara.
“If you choose a non-constructive path, it will negatively affect mutual trust and understanding and will be reflected in commercial and economic relations,” Deng, speaking through a translator, told Reuters in interview.
Deng - Companies - Investment - Opportunities - Turkey
For now, Deng said that many Chinese companies were looking for investment opportunities in Turkey including the third nuclear power plant Ankara wants to build.
Several Chinese firms including tech giant Alibaba, are actively looking at opportunities in Turkey after the lira’s sell-off has made local assets cheaper.
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