Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed Ukraine with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara and met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday during his first foreign trip since being appointed, a Turkish foreign ministry source said.
China named Wang, a veteran diplomat, as its new foreign minister on Tuesday, removing former rising star Qin Gang after a one-month absence from duties barely half a year into the job.
Discussions between Wang and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan included the latest situation in Ukraine as well as the global financial system, the Turkish foreign ministry source said.
Russia has expanded its air attacks on Ukrainian grain targets in recent days after quitting a 2022 deal brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye that had allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain for the past year.
The United States and several European countries have urged China to use its influence over Russia to seek an end to the war in Ukraine. Earlier this year, China published a 12-point peace plan, calling for the protection of civilians and the sovereignty of all countries to be respected.
During his talks with Wang, Erdogan voiced hope that Türkiye and China would intensify their cooperation as both countries play important roles in global and regional issues, Erdogan’s office said in a statement released after the meeting.
Fidan and Wang also touched on the development of economic and trade relations between Türkiye and China, the Turkish foreign ministry source said.
Their discussions included “harmonization of the initiatives of (China’s) Belt and Road and Middle Corridor”, as well as nuclear energy, agriculture and civil aviation, the source added.
The two top diplomats discussed the situation of Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, during talks in Ankara, the source said.
Human rights groups accuse Beijing of abuses against Xinjiang’s Uyghur inhabitants, including the mass use of forced labor in internment camps. China denies the allegations.