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Will China buy Turkey on the cheap?

Some argue China may “swallow” Turkey through acquisitions, given China’s growing interest in the region and Turkey’s economic crisis, which has cheapened its assets and left it in dire need of external funds. But the realities on the ground speak otherwise.
China's President Xi Jinping and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj - S1AETZIDWTAB
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Is China going to buy up crisis-hit Turkey? The question sounds startling at first, but when a journalist begins hearing discussions revolving around this theme at almost every roundtable, panel or seminar on international relations he attends, looking for an answer to the question becomes a professional duty.

Indeed, the question is not unfounded. Turkey is going through a deepening economic crisis marked by rising unemployment and inflation, a growing external debt burden and a highly volatile Turkish lira. On top of it, Turkey’s problems with the United States and the European Union are worsening, and the country is drifting away from the West. China, on the other hand, is the world’s second-biggest economic power and seeks to revive the ancient Silk Road through its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative; in this context, it takes interest in the region where Turkey sits while boasting an extraordinary increase in capital exports and a foreign trade surplus — which means an abundance of money.

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