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Print Edition> World
UPDATED: November 8, 2010 NO. 45 NOVEMBER 11, 2010
Aligning Against Global Concerns

STRATEGIC TIES: Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Beijing on November 1 (LIU JIANSHENG)

While meeting with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on November 1, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping called on China and Turkey to strengthen coordination in international organizations, including the Group of 20 (G20). Davutoglu's visit came shortly after the two countries announced the establishment of a "strategic relationship of cooperation" during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's October trip to Turkey.

Sino-Turkish collaboration on international issues, such as climate change, serves the interests of the developing world as a whole, said Zhang Yuyan, Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in a recent speech in Ankara. Edited excerpts follow:

In a globalized era, countries are more economically interdependent than ever before. Soaring foreign trade and investment, and the rapid spread of technology are testaments to this growing trend. At the same time, global issues, such as climate change and the stability of international monetary and financial systems, have become increasingly prominent. These problems underline the need for improved global governance. In this context, every economy is a stakeholder in global development.

Turkey's importance in the global system can be seen, first of all, in its sustained economic growth. Rapid growth in recent years has given the country the world's 18th largest economy. Its per-capita GDP is 2.5 times that of China's, based on current exchange rates.

Moreover, lying between Asia and Europe, it serves as a hub for land, sea and air transportation across the two continents. Its advantageous location gives it considerable geopolitical influence. Being a member of the G20, Turkey will play a major role in shaping future international institutions.

As part of their efforts to develop a "strategic relationship of cooperation," China and Turkey have vowed to strengthen cooperation in multilateral frameworks like the UN and the G20. These efforts will help safeguard the interests of developing countries.

Both countries share the same position on climate change and are also expected to work together to increase the representation and voting power of emerging markets and developing countries in international institutions.

Together, China and Turkey can take the initiative in establishing a consultative mechanism for the G20's 11 emerging economies. Closer ties among these countries will enable emerging economies and developing countries to share in the benefits of economic growth.

The emergence of G20 summits was one of the most significant developments in the wake of the most devastating global financial crisis since the end of World War II. The G20 represents four fifths of the world's total GDP and two thirds of its population. Its summits routinely gather international leaders for discussions on issues with worldwide implications.

With its extensive representation and high-level participation, G20 summits have become the premier forum for international economic and financial cooperation. As their topics diversify, the summits will likely evolve into the most important forum for future global governance.

Although the worst of the crisis has passed, emerging economies must still confront daunting challenges, such as industrialization and urbanization. Economically, financially and technologically they rely too heavily on industrialized nations.

Worse still, they also face pressure from the current global governance system. In the existing global institutions, which are dominated by developed economies, emerging countries are unable to effectively protect their rights and interests. Fairer and more equitable systems have yet to be established. China and Turkey can make joint efforts to help address all these problems.

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