Turkey vows it will root out militants threatening China
Turkey’s foreign minister yesterday vowed to root out militants plotting against China, signaling closer cooperation and a tougher stance against suspected militants from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, many of whom travel on to Syria or Iraq to join Islamic militant groups.
Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters during a visit to Beijing that his government would treat threats to China’s security as threats to itself and would not allow any “anti-China activity inside Turkey or territory controlled by Turkey.”
The country will also move to stamp out any anti-China reports in its media, he told reporters after a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
China and Turkey have repeatedly vowed to step up cooperation on security and counterterrorism.
“We absolutely will not allow in Turkey any activities targeting or opposing China,” Cavusoglu said. He gave no details of the measures that could be taken to eliminate media reports targeting China.
China has been working with Russia and Syria to share intelligence about Xinjiang militants fighting in Syria and help stop their return to potentially strike at China.
Cavusoglu endorsed China’s efforts, saying that Turkey “fully appreciated all the actions China has taken” in combating the Islamic State group as well as reaching a political settlement in the war in Syria.
Wang said that “deepening our collaboration on anti-terror and security is the most central part” of the two countries’ relationship.
China has expressed openness toward Turkey joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security alliance comprised of China, Russia and several central Asian states.
Ankara is also keen to tap into the Belt and Road infrastructure investment plan to link China with the rest of Asia and the world.
“China is willing to work with Turkey to enhance the ancient spirit of the Silk Road ... and in jointly promoting the Belt and Road plan unlock new cooperative potential,” Wang said.