China is ready to discuss Turkey’s membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Chinese ambassador to Turkey said Friday.
Yu Hongyang told Anadolu Agency that Beijing would be willing to discuss Turkey joining the six-nation bloc with other member states.
Speaking ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to China, Yu said: “Turkey has reached the position of being a dialogue partner of the organization by attending the activities of the SCO in recent years.
“China, which understands Turkey’s intention of becoming a member of the SCO, is ready for Turkey’s membership… in consultation with other member countries.”
The SCO is made up of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Turkey was approved as one of six “dialogue partners” in 2012.
There are also six “observer states” linked to the organization, which was established in 2003 with the aim of promoting cooperation between members and maintain regional stability.
On Friday, Erdogan will leave for China for an economic summit. It will be his fourth meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the past two years.
Yu said China hoped to narrow the trade gap between the two countries and improve visa regulations for their nationals.