Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is betting big on China. But his gamble with President Xi Jinping will be deemed disastrous.
For a year or so, Turkey has set itself toward a full blown economic crisis, propelled by a major devaluation of the national currency and ballooning external debt. President Erdogan with his ruling AKP is counting his political cost amid worsening economic problems.
Although Erdogan is wildly ambitious in his economic plans to reclaim the political high ground against his opponents, his ways of close ties with China’s Belt and Road Initiative won’t give him a brighter prospect.
Turkey is working intensively to surpass its current trade volume of 20 billion US dollars with China, focusing on high value-added projects within a win-win framework, the head of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) said on October 18.
Pointing to China’s $2.1 trillion total imports and the scope of China’s investments under the Belt and Road Initiative, TIM Chairman Ismail Gulle underlined the project’s potential not only for Turkey, but for the entire region, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Turkey’s officials and businesses want to see that Turkey’s gastronomic skills, agricultural and food products as well as tourism are well received by Chinese.
Cui Wei, the Chinese Consul General in Istanbul, said despite the thousands of kilometers between the two countries, the cultural exchange has never been interrupted.
“In ancient times, the Silk Road has been the bridge of friendship between the two sides,” Cui said, “with porcelain and silk, for instance, being traded from China to Turkey.”
But with China’s domestic economy going downwards and its Belt and Road ambitions are increasingly under scrutiny, Chinese President Xi Jinping is more likely to issue empty checks with little hopes to be delivered to the Turkish people.
Without deep understanding of the global fight against communism, in addition to comprehension of Beijing’s Middle East Plan and its domestic problems, Erdogan is definitely taking the wrong side this time.
In the past, at times of difficulties, Ankara could look to Europe and Washington for help. But the previously-robust bilateral ties between the U.S. and Turkey have deteriorated precipitously in recent years over a variety of disagreements.
Turkey today is saddled with more than $440 billion in external debt from lenders like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), more than double the country’s annual average between 1989 and 2018. Europe is also walking away from Turkey’s appeal for more help.
Confronting the Hong Kong crisis and international condemnation of its human rights violations, the Communist dictatorship under President Xi wants a war to prolong its life. The Middle East is an ideal place for traps and Turkey could also be a good choice besides Iran.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria was a “strategically brilliant” masterstroke not just for Turkey, but for Communist China too. That has left America’s allies, the Syrian Kurds, to fend for themselves against invading Turkish forces.
One week ago, Turkish forces crossed into Syria, when President Erdogan decided to go in militarily against Kurdish forces, which Erdogan deems a terrorist organisation.
“This was a huge mistake”, Secretary Michael Pompeo said at the Press Conference on October 17, “As the President has made clear, Turkey’s actions in northeast Syria severely undermine the D-ISIS campaign, endanger civilians, and threaten the security of the entire region. If Turkey’s operation continues, it will exacerbate a growing and daunting humanitarian crisis, with potentially disastrous consequences.”
Last week, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien were on a diplomatic mission to Turkey. Negotiations went very successful and the two sides finally reached an immediate ceasefire.
Vice President Mike Pence said at the press conference, “In addition to the settlement today with the ceasefire, Turkey and the United States mutually committed to the Defeat ISIS activities in northeast Syria. This will also include an agreement renewed today to coordinate efforts on detention facilities and internally displaced persons in formerly ISIS- controlled areas.”
“The President made it clear that we’re not going to have military personnel on the ground. But the United States will continue to engage diplomatically, politically, and, of course, in humanitarian aid and support to affect all of the people affected in this region, ” Pence added.
Some experts are wondering if US foreign policy has gone wrong under Trump with his fawning over autocrats, in particular when Trump has been too easy in believing in such strongman as President Xi.
Mike Pence said President Trump is the first to take on communism and socialism in decades, and he is sure the President is making the right decisions in confronting those dictators.
When the Vice-president is going to deliver another policy speech later this week, we will see the thunder-storm actions against the Communist Regime.
The ceasefire between Turkey and the US is historic. With that, any of President Xi’s vile ambitions in the region shall be in vain.
By Cloudy Seagail