11 June 2024

Turkey-China look beyond Uyghurs toward BRI and BRICS


Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s three-day visit to China signaled improved diplomatic relations, upgraded bilateral trade and investment ties, and a significant step toward Turkey’s accession to the anti-Western BRICS bloc.

Fidan met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other senior Chinese government officials in Beijing from June 3-5.

He later stopped in the Xinjiang cities of Urumqi and Kashgar, where he proposed a solution to the ongoing Uyghur crisis. After a series of attacks, China has since 2017 held over one million Uyghurs in detention facilities Beijing refers to as “reeducation camps.”

Turkey is home to a large Uyghur population, many of whom have fled persecution in Xinjiang. The US and EU, meanwhile, have used the camps as a whipping boy issue to condemn China’s rights record and impose sanctions on businesses that use forced Uyghur labor.

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