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Turkey, China assert rapprochement despite Uyghur protests, vaccine delay

The Chinese foreign minister’s visit to Turkey reflects the desire of both sides to further develop bilateral ties despite hitches stemming primarily from the widespread public support Uyghurs enjoy in Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (2nd, L) speaks during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (2nd, R) on June 15, 2018, in Beijing, China. (Photo by Greg Baker-Pool/Getty Images)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Turkey last week underscored the desire of both sides to advance their rapprochement, especially in the economic field, despite widespread misgivings in Turkey and abroad over Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur minority.

Wang met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 25, as part of a regional tour including Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman that highlights the Middle East’s growing importance for China amid a heating rivalry with the United States.

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