China helps financial crisis-hit Turkey survive

recep tayyip erdogan xi jinping Turkey China

Despite a catastrophic currency devaluation and 50% annual inflation as of December, manufacturing in Turkey is booming and exports have risen by more than half from pre-pandemic levels thanks to China

A real economic boom in the midst of financial disaster is puzzling, but there’s a simple explanation: Turkish manufacturing does not have much to do with the country itself.

Rather, Turkish industries buy Chinese capital equipment and semi-finished goods and sells the finished products to Europe.

Ankara has found a niche in the fast-growing trade relationship between Europe and China as a producer of steel products, chemicals, household appliances and other goods, concentrating on more labor-intensive and environmentally problematic industries.

Its economic dependence on Beijing has increased significantly.

This helps explain why Turkey eschewed American efforts for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics to protest against the East Asian country’s alleged treatment of its Muslim Uighur minority.

This is even despite the fact that Uighurs speak a Turkic language and have strong linguistic and religious ties to Turkey.

READ MORE: Beijing’s standoff with France and EU over Uighur issue.

The founding father of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, might have said that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, but for Xi Jinping, it is more likely to grow out of the door of a shipping container.

China’s imports from the rest of Asia have nearly tripled during the past five years, prompting 15 Asian countries including Australia to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with Beijing – but not the United States.

That was an important Chinese diplomatic victory.

Now, a quantum jump in Sino-Turkish trade is likely to enhance Beijing’s political influence in Western Asia.

A Chinese state-owned English-language TV news service has promoted a Turkish war monger and genocide denier just days before the Beijing Winter Olympics begin.

Doğu Perinçek, Vatan (Patriotic) Party Chairman and Member of the Turkish Parliament “used a Turkish proverb to call for unity and support for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics,” CGTN reported.

In the video, the Vatan Party leader gives other encouraging messages of unity over the Olympics.