On February 21 local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met with Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek in Ankara.
Xi conveyed the sincere greetings and best wishes from Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Xi said that Speaker Cicek is an old friend of Chinese people and has always been firmly supporting and committed to China-Turkey friendship, which China highly appreciates. Xi said that bilateral relations have maintained good momentum with frequent high-level visits, increasing political mutual trust, fruitful economic cooperation and close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. In October 2010, the two countries announced the establishment of their strategic cooperative relations, marking that the China-Turkey relations have entered a new stage. Xi pointed out that mutual support on issues related to the other's core interests is the cornerstone of Sino-Turkish strategic ties. China firmly supports Turkey for its endeavor in maintaining domestic political stability and economic growth, he said. The Turkish side also rendered precious support to the Chinese side on issues concerning Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet, he said. "I believed that both sides will continue to understand and support each other on issues related to the other' s core interests or of the other's major concern," he said. Pragmatic cooperation is the driving force of China-Turkey strategic relations and both sides have steadily pushed forward their pragmatic cooperation in transportation, energy and other fields. Cultural and people-to-people exchange is a guarantee for sustainable development of China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations. The China Culture Year in Turkey and the Turkey Culture Year in China will be held in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Both sides should work together to make these two important events successes, so that the bilateral friendship can be deeply rooted in the hearts of both peoples.
Xi pointed out that the legislative exchanges are an important part of bilateral friendly cooperation. In recent years, close contacts between China's National People's Congress and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey have played a unique role in enhancing friendship between the two peoples and promoting bilateral cooperation. Although the two countries differ in social system, history and culture, they are both faced with the task of developing the country and improving people's livelihood. This is of great significance to promoting the comprehensive development of bilateral friendly cooperative relations. Both sides should continue to use the platform of parliamentary exchanges, as it is conducive to pushing politicians of the two countries especially those of the younger generation to support the development of China-Turkey relations and boost the friendship.
Cicek said Xi's current trip is the first visit of a Chinese Vice President to Turkey and is a historic one. The visit is of great significance to furthering bilateral relations. China and Turkey are located on the eastern and western end of Asia respectively. Both Turkey and China have a long history and profound culture. Enhanced cooperation between both sides will not only benefit themselves, but is also conducive to the world. In 2010, the two sides established strategic cooperative relations, elevating bilateral relations to a new level. Turkey is willing to work together with China to deepen the connotation of bilateral strategic relations, expand economic and trade cooperation, keep closer bilateral inter-parliamentary exchanges, well hold the China Culture Year in Turkey and the Turkey Culture Year in China and enhance humanities exchanges. Cicek reiterated that Turkey adheres to the one-China policy, recognizes the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate representative of the whole Chinese people and respects China's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
On the morning of the same day, Vice President Xi, accompanied by Turkish Minister of Economy Zafer Caglayan, laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, in Ankara. Later, Xi left a message on the guest book and visited Ataturk's Mausoleum Museum. The mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is also called "Anıtkabir" where visiting foreign delegations will go and lay a wreath.