Turkish president concludes China visit

Turkish President Abdullah Gul left Urumqi, capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Monday afternoon, concluding his six-day state visit to China, Xinhua reported.

    Xinjiang is his last stop in China. During his two-day stay in Xinjiang, Gul visited Xinjiang University which granted him an honorary professor title. He also visited companies of renewable resources.

    Gul paid the visit at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao. During their talks in Beijing on June 25, Hu raised a five-point proposal to advance the Sino-Turkish relationship.

    The first proposal is that the two governments should strengthen communication and coordination and support each other on important issues concerning their core interests, and their legislatures and parties should continue to conduct multi-level exchanges.

    The other four points include expanding bilateral trade and economic cooperation, boosting cooperation to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism and cross-border crimes, intensifying exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, education, tourism, mass media and public health, and maintaining multilateral cooperation to promote world harmony.

    Gul said Turkey was willing to strengthen political relations with China and boost cooperation related to finance, tourism, culture, infrastructure construction and science and technology.

    The two presidents also witnessed the signing of seven bilateral documents on cooperation in the fields of foreign affairs, energy, cultural heritage, mass media and trade.

    On June 26, Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), and Premier Wen Jiabao met with Gul separately.

    Gul also attended China-Turkey Business Forum on June 26, saying Turkish-Chinese economic and trade cooperation had great potential that he hoped could be developed.

    He stressed that Turkey seeks to further strengthen trade exchanges with China and expects more Chinese enterprises to make investments there.

    According to Chinese Customs statistics, trade volume between China and Turkey in 2008 was 12.57 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 7 percent year on year. China's exports to Turkey reached 10.59 billion U.S. dollars, while import from Turkey was only 1.98 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 1 percent and 53 percent respectively.

    On the trade imbalance, Bai Lichen, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said that China attached great importance to solving the issue. "China is willing to seek measures to expand imports from Turkey. We also welcome Turkish enterprises to participate in trade exhibitions in China to promote their services and products."

    In the forum, Gul witnessed the signing of six bilateral business cooperation pacts worth 1 billion euros (about 1.39 billion U.S. dollars), involving infrastructure, power, mining, agricultural trade and other fields.

    Gul also visited Xi'an, capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, and Shenzhen, a boomtown in south China's Guangdong Province.

    Murat Goker, general manager of M&G Int'l Group Limited, a Turkish company in Shenzhen, attended the meeting between the president and Turkish businessmen in Shenzhen. He said Gul said he was very satisfied with his visit, during which the two countries has enhanced understanding and cooperation. He said Gul said his visit is "successful."

    Goker, who has been doing business with China for 15 years, said this is the first time for a Turkish president to visit China in 14 years, and it is also the first time for Gul to visit four cities in one country.

    Before departing for China, Gul said at a press conference at Ankara Esenboga Airport that he hoped his upcoming state visit to China will be a landmark in the Sino-Turkish relationship, and he expects to further cement relations with China in political and economic fields.

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