Turkey - China; Proportional Risks & Mutual Interdependencies

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Turkey - China; Proportional Risks & Mutual Interdependencies...

ABSTRACT
Both countries can develop an effective strategic cooperation ground regarding the sustainability of the long term interests that bear great importance for both China and Turkey. In this context, it is important to look at the events in a broader geopolitical point of view. In order to bring the Turkish-Chinese relations to an ideal point in the world system that is increasingly gaining a multidimensional appearance, Turkish and Chinese policy makers must steer for a structure that may constitute mutual depth not only on the political and strategic grounds but in the all parameters. That’s why the military and cultural aspects of Turkey-China relations have a distinctive importance. Particularly the projects with the following titles of "Silk Road Economic Zone" and "21th Century Silk Road on the Sea", and all sort of activities being carried out in every kind of platforms would play a key role for Turkey-China relations.
 
KEYWORDS
Proportional Risks, Mutual Interdependences, Silk Road, Integration, Micro-Nationalism, Unpredictability, Change in Nature of State, Expectation Management, East Turkestan (Xinjiang), Investment, South-South.
 
GROWING DIALOGUE ON PROPORTIONAL RISKS AND MUTUAL INTERDEPENDENCIES BETWEEN TURKEY CHINA
Turkey has increasingly grown as an important actor with its 75 million population, developing and expanding economy, geostrategic position in the middle of Afro-Euro-Asian mainland; historical, political, cultural connections with the European, Black Sea, Caucasian, Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries, its activity in the international arena, particularly in the UN; its stand as one of the most important members of NATO, OSCE, and CICA; and its recently advanced activist foreign policy.
 
People’s Republic of China, on the other hand, has become apparent as an important power that grabs attention worldwide with its surface area, 1.3 billion population, natural resources, progress in the fields of industry and technology, veto power in the UN, position in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and newly developed foreign policy strategies.
 
Turkish - Chinese relations has deep rooted historical background through the Silk Road. Still, diplomatic relations between the two countries could not be established until 1971 because of the Cold War necessities. After China initiated international expansion program, high profile visits began between Turkey and China.
 
Turkey and China have common interests in the geopolitical and security areas of the Middle East and Central Asia. In view of energy security and ever increasing terrorist activities, meeting the requirements of peace and security in these areas is vital for the interests of both countries.
 
High development rates captured by Turkey and China recently urge both Turkey and China to take each other into consideration in terms of economy. For China, Turkey is an exit into Balkans and Europe, and an economic partner in the Middle East and Central Asia. Turkey, on the other hand, sees China as partner to strengthen mutual relations in the areas of economy and security. Turkey gives special importance to cooperate with China to improve its relations with Central Asian countries. In this regard, Turkey attaches great importance to SCO, search for full or observer membership opportunity and, through being a member of the organization, thinks that she can carry its relations to a better point in the areas ranging from international trade to security cooperation and that she will be able to gain membership in the international organizations such as ASEAN.  China, surpassing Japan and South Korea, has become the biggest trade partner for Turkey among the Asia-Pacific nations. In parallel with the trading volume, the relations between the two countries have gained speed.
 
The most important problem regarding Turkish-Chinese relations is ever increasingly grooving trade deficit in favor of China. In the long term, this can produce a set of economic and political problems regarding the sustainability of the relations. Trade deficit arises mainly from Chinese trade policies but there are reasons regarding the Turkish side as well.  In addition to the unique restrictions set by China, timid positions of the Turkish businessmen have deepened the question.
 
Cyprus issue being in the first place, Turkey has ever tried to take China’s support in the international affairs. In the upcoming period, ground for cooperation may be strengthened within the scope of the organizations such as the UN, CICA, ASEAN in parallel with the growing impact of Turkey within the international platforms.
 
Both countries can develop an effective strategic cooperation ground regarding the sustainability of the long term interests that bear great importance for both China and Turkey. In this context, it is important to look at the events in a broader geopolitical point of view. In order to bring the Turkish-Chinese relations to an ideal point in the world system that is increasingly gaining a multidimensional appearance, Turkish and Chinese policy makers must steer for a structure that may constitute mutual depth not only on the political and strategic grounds but in the all parameters. That’s why the military and cultural aspects of Turkey-China relations have a distinctive importance. Particularly the projects with the following titles of "Silk Road Economic Zone" and "21th Century Silk Road on the Sea", and all sort of activities being carried out in every kind of platforms would play a key role for Turkey-China relations.
 
– Industrial and Financial Deepening
– Security and Defense Industry
– Investment, Trade, Infrastructure and Contracting
– Public Diplomacy; Local Authorities, Civil Society, Think Tanks and Media
– Change of State Nature, Expectation Management and Multidimensional Security
– ASEAN Region, Shanghai Cooperation Organization etc. and Integration in Asia 
– Energy, Water and Food Security
– Science and Technology, Academy and Culture
– Middle East - Africa, South and Central Asia
 
TURKEY AND SILK ROAD PROJECT
It would be possible to make innovations in 65 countries with $21 trillion revenue, depending on the possible rise in their economic growth level based on the new understandings about Silk Road, extending along the east-west direction from China to Rome, and all the way through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Turkey and Greece.  
 
It’s planned that the route will be covering five roads; three of them are crossing over sea areas and the other two over the lands. There is no doubt that all the roads are passing by Turkey depending on and in convenient with the historical facts and experiences. It’s also possible, due to this project as an opportunity, to be experienced some enhancements toward a new high level of trade capacity of all countries around the route and related to the project, and to come true about two times more rise in China’s current trade capacity level. Then again, it’s also possible that this initiative to be a new kind of integration model through taking lessons from the strict integration model of European Union’s, which reached a dead end, a point of “failure on success”, current experiences, and as well as from some more flexible historical references. 
 
Following five main themes planned are attesting the possibilities of this type of project model.
 
Policy connection:
Taking some measures for regional cooperation by countries around the route
Structures connections
Building the main road connections by way of developing some plans and setting new standards about the countries around the route;
Trade connections:
Taking measures to pave the way for trade and investments, by the countries around the route;
Capital connections
Financial co-operation;
Moral and emotional Connections:
Connections to do with cultural, academic, human resources, tourism, science, technology and press co-operations.
 
Depending on its geological position, as an essential part of Afro-Eurasia point of junction, Turkey, which has kept a steady hand on the tiller up to present and currently keeps under control all the strategic transit routes on the region, has a key importance for all moral and material or emotional and financial elements representing the Silk Road. Either the future form of international system newly shaped by competitivity parameters such as “micro-nationalism”, “integration” and “unpredictability” or the form of integration of the Silk Road to this system depend on Turkey and Russia, especially in terms of their future economic and political conditions. Thus, within these circumstances, it’s expected that China is sophisticatedly analyzing the facts, including the pressures on the two nations, when developing its policies.
 
SUGGESTIONS
When the regional co-operation themes comes to question, it becomes even more important to deepen the concrete perspectives and suggestions about more specific issues listed below.
 
1. East Turkestan & Urumqi Region
Well-being of these regions would continue to be one of the most important focus of interests of Turkey, particularly in terms of investments opportunities for region’s continuous improvement and to happen in such a way as to be of assistance or funds from People’s Republic of China (PRC) as allocated shares of social support intended for East Turkestan and Urumqi regions. In the next period, it could swing the balance if China, which its growth rates could not be able to reach a level as high as what the country saw as in previous decades, will be able to make a stride forward beyond being a country basically still stay focused on export oriented economy policies and to embrace the new policies to increase foreign demand for itself. Seeking to fight against supposable domestic upsurge in unemployment rates arising from the shift in its economic policies, China would presumably employ some methods within the “Keynesian” framework of state expenditures, and which Turkey will continue to watch with full interest by looking into some answers to the questions such as “what the amount of the funds-shares that the Uighur regions will be able to take” and  “what the possible results of these type of policies for Uighurs are” and “in what way these economic policies could be convenient”.
 
2. Foreign Investments of China
The funds accumulated in hands of PRC and allegedly reached up to around $5 trillion have increasingly been invested in western-countries and particularly in technology producing sectors. A great majority of these investments happens through corporate take overs. There is still no legal agreement or legal framework, which is fairly, bilaterally and globally well thought out solutions to the problems that might results from these initiatives. Be that as it may, the future and the way of meeting sustainability requirements of these investments, which have been made under the guidance of PRC’s state companies, will be looked into by Turkey with a particular concern.
 
3. Investments in Turkey
PRC’s investments of towards western-countries have been conducted with bilateral agreements. In this regard, it’s highly important to find some answers to the questions such as “what kind of international legal and economic relations supposed to be developed so that Turkey will be able to get a big share of “this cake”. It’s also urgent to be started to a mission about how these types of investments can be constituted based on bilateral interests with the participation of experts from both countries.
 
4. South–South Co-operation
Both Turkey and PRC are helping less developed and developing countries through foreign direct investments and continuing to give support them. To improve and strengthen the South-South Co-operation, it’s needed to be discussed these interconnected investments and aids through a forum including participants such as academicians from western countries and institutions, and experts from both two countries as well. In this type of frame-work program, it would be very helpful focusing on some sort of promoting and making possible win-win perspective co-operation with the countries such as India, Russia and Brazil. TASAM is ready to take initiatives on the issues.

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