Turkey’s growing importance in Beijing

Turkey’s growing importance in Beijing

The historical changes declared by President Erdogan during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly is also indicative of the changing attitudes of Asian countries towards Turkey. Those who worship Washington and Brussels will not be able to prevent Turkey from connecting with its real friends by trying to argue that Turkey has become isolated.

Turkey’s international political value is only increasing as it holds its head high against the threats and pressures of the Atlantic camp. Turkey is finding its true friends, moving away from those who have collapsed our economy and try to tear our country apart while claiming to be “our allies”. On the other hand, China’s changing its attitude towards Turkey as the key rising country in Asia is a positive sign of the coming period.


The People’s Republic of China, like every country with a state tradition, makes appointments to foreign representatives according to their importance. China appoints ambassadors to Washington, London, Berlin, Moscow, Cairo, Pyongyang at the level of deputy ministers. Ankara has also been brought into this classification, reflecting the increased importance given to Turkey.

There have been diplomats who served as China’s ambassador in Turkey and then became General Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, for the first time in 2019, an Ambassador at the level of General Director was appointed to Ankara. Former Ambassador Deng Li was assigned to Ankara when he was the West Asia North Africa General Director for 27 countries at the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Coming to Turkey on January 26, 2019 and presenting his charter to President Erdogan on February 7, Deng Li was promoted for his outstanding efforts even before completing two years in Ankara.

Deng Li, the Chinese Ambassador to Ankara, later became the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, and it was announced that Ambassador Deng would be responsible for Foreign Security and Archives. This is the first time that an Ambassador of China in Ankara has been promoted to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Stating that they would be doubling the volume of existing relationships in three areas of Sino-Turkish relationships within three years, Ambassador Deng then achieved this goal in the investment amount and in terms of the number of tourists from China. He also helped eliminate barriers to export Turkish fresh fruit such as pistachio, cherry, etc. as well as dairy products.

Ambassador Deng, who worked effectively in Turkey, took part in the welcoming committee at the Beijing airport for President Erdogan’s second official visit to China in July 2019. He attended the talks between Xi Jinping and Erdogan. Ambassador Deng Li was one of those who prepared the meeting which was the biggest step to developing Sino-Turkish relations.

While in Turkey, Ambassador Deng held extensive official talks to improve relations with the Vice President Fuat Oktay, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca, and the Minister of Justice Abdulhamid Gul.

Getting credit through his diligence, wisdom and sincerity, Deng organized trips to Istanbul, Canakkale, Trabzon and Afyon, and established warm relations with the local community within his short time in Turkey.


The first politician with whom Ambassador Deng Li met after submitting his charter to the President was the Chairman of the Vatan Party, Dogu Perincek. Having met Perincek several times, the experienced diplomat won the hearts of the elite industrialists via the meetings of ‘Turkey-China Cooperation for a Great Leap in Production’ he organized with the Vatan Party in three provinces.

Chinese Trade Undersecretary Yuhua Li attended and made a speech at the meeting hosted by Perincek in Izmir on May 24, 2019, Chinese Consul General Cui Wei in Istanbul on May 27, and Ambassador Deng Li in Ankara on May 29. These meetings, functioning as the milestone in terms of enhancing economic cooperation between China and Turkey, drew the attention of China, Russia, Iran and the Western press, as well.

In his farewell letter to Perincek while leaving Turkey, Ambassador Deng Lim promised that he would continue his contribution to the Sino-Turkish relations. He received Turkey’s Ambassador A. Emin Önen in his capacity as Deputy Foreign Minister, on Thursday, September 23 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the description of the Chinese Embassy in Ankara,that “China-Turkey relations steadily improved,” Deputy Minister Deng Li, and added that ” China is ready to boost strategic cooperation and organize celebrations of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Turkey.”


Liu Shaobin, General Director of Foreign Security of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was appointed to the Chinese Embassy in Ankara vacated by Deng Li. Liu Shaobin is an experienced Ambassador. He previously represented China as an Ambassador in Japan. Liu Shaobin, who is leading China’s anti-terrorism cooperation symposium with many countries, is expected to come to Ankara and take office soon.


Former Ambassador Deng Li became the Deputy Minister of The Department of External Security Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The newly appointed Ambassador is also the General Manager responsible for External Security. This situation shows that security has an important place in Sino-Turkish relations.

China and Turkey are struggling with terrorist organizations which are provoked and armed by the US imperialism. As is well known, both the PKK and the East Turkistan Islamic Party are US-led terrorist organizations. Both are at the service of the US’s separatist and destructive policies.

Solidarity against separatist and destructive terrorism is the joint security of Turkey and China. Conditions are favorable for developing cooperation in this regard. Turkey’s success in the fight against terrorism and its decisive stance against terrorist organizations carrying out their activities in China contribute to the development of bilateral relations. This is because China’s security starts in Turkey, and Turkey’s security starts in China.

Adnan Akfırat

Adnan Akfirat is former representative to China and Member of International Relations Bureau of the Patriotic Party of Türkiye; Chairman of Turkish-Chinese Business Development and Friendship Association (Turk-Cin Is Der); visitor researcher of Shanghai University Turkish Studies Center and Shihezi University Silk Road Research Center. Mr. Akfirat has been living in Shanghai since 2011.

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April 2024