Baku. 29 July. REPORT.AZ/ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived Wednesday in Beijing amid tensions over China's treatment of its Uighur minority and sensitive negotiations surrounding the possible purchase of a Chinese missile system, Report informs citing Turkish media.
While the sides enjoy outwardly friendly relations, Turkish public sentiment has been inflamed by reports that members of the Uighur minority native to China's northwest have been restricted in practicing their Islamic faith, particularly during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which ended in mid-July. Turks and Uighurs share close linguistic, cultural and religious ties.
Erdoğan's state visit to China is expected to focus on Turkish trade links with the world's second-biggest economy. NATO member Turkey entered discussions in 2013 with the China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC) for its first anti-missile system and chose the company as a preferred bidder with a contract worth $3.4 billion in 2013. The agreement, however, is not signed yet between the two parties and the future of the deal is a matter of debate.