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Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu cements security Chinese ties

TURKISH FM ÇAVUŞOĞLU CEMENTS SECURITY CHINESE TIES

Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters at press conference that we see China's security as our security and he added Turkey is also looking to boost ties in education, tourism and culture.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stressed security ties with Beijing on Thursday.

He was visiting China ahead of a trip to the Philippines, where he will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila.

"We see China's security as our security," the minister told a news conference with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. "We do not permit any negative actions against China in our country or region."

Çavuşoğlu's visit follows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's trip in May, where he met President Xi Jinping and attended a meeting on China's One Belt, One Road project, which aims to stimulate global trade and growth through a campaign of infrastructure development.

It was the fourth meeting between Erdoğan and Xi since 2015.

Turkey is also looking to boost ties in education, tourism and culture, Çavuşoğlu added. "We hope that Chinese tourist numbers will increase," he said. "We expect 3 million of 100 million [Chinese] tourists going abroad every year to come to Turkey."

Agricultural produce is leading the rise in trade between the countries, the minister added, as Turkey continues negotiations with China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

After China, Çavuşoğlu will travel to Manila to meet foreign ministers from 26 nations at the ASEAN summit.

Although not a member of the 10-country bloc, Turkey formed ties with ASEAN in 1999, attended its first summit in 2013 and has applied for ASEAN partnership.

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