Criticising Uighur policy could hit economic relations: China to Turkey

Reuters Beijing, China Mar 01, 2019, 07.57 PM(IST) Mar 01, 2019, 08.03 PM(IST)

File photo of an Uighur man in Xinjiang province. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

Several Chinese firms including tech giant Alibaba, are actively looking at opportunities in Turkey after the lira's sell-off has made local assets cheaper.

Turkey risks jeopardising economic ties with China if it keeps criticising Beijing's treatment of Uighurs , China's envoy to Ankara warned, just as Chinese firms are looking to invest in Turkish energy and infrastructure mega-projects.

Last month Turkey broke a long silence over the fate of China's Uighurs, saying more than one million people faced arbitrary arrest, torture and political brainwashing in Chinese internment camps in the country's northwestern Xinjiang region.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated Ankara's concern at a United Nations meeting this week, calling on China to respect human rights and freedom of religion.

China has denied accusations of mistreatment and deems criticism at the United Nations to be interference in its sovereignty. Beijing says the camps are re-education and training facilities that have stopped attacks previously blamed on Islamist militants and separatists.

"There may be disagreements or misunderstandings between friends but we should solve them through dialogue. Criticising your friend publicly everywhere is not a constructive approach," said Deng Li, Beijing's top diplomat to Ankara.

"If you choose a non-constructive path, it will negatively affect mutual trust and understanding and will be reflected in commercial and economic relations," Deng said.

For now, Deng said that many Chinese companies were looking for investment opportunities in Turkey including the third nuclear power plant Ankara wants to build.

Several Chinese firms including tech giant Alibaba, are actively looking at opportunities in Turkey after the lira's sell-off has made local assets cheaper.

In addition to Alibaba, which last year purchased Turkish online retailer Trendyol, other companies holding talks included China Life Insurance and conglomerate China Merchants Group,, Deng said.

Read in App