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Political-economic penetration! How China is getting involved with Turkey and Syria after the earthquakes

It is well known that the active participation of Chinese companies in regional cooperation, especially in infrastructure, is a practice adopted globally by Beijing under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has played an increasingly important role in giving new impetus to economic and social development, of countries.

In this context, the interest of Chinese construction companies to participate actively in the reconstruction of the earthquake-affected areas in Turkey and Syria is included.

"Chinese companies can help Turkey and Syria in post-earthquake reconstruction", is the title of an article on the subject of International Media whose highlights are as follows:

"Chinese companies involved in energy infrastructure and machinery production are on standby for future needs to rebuild earthquake-hit areas in Turkey and Syria under government appeals, the Global Times has learned from Chinese companies with projects in the areas.

A week after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, the main task ahead, apart from material aid, is to help rebuild areas where thousands of buildings collapsed, roads opened and bridges collapsed .

Several Chinese companies contacted by the Global Times on Tuesday said they were willing to help the Turkish and Syrian governments.

The  Chinese manufacturing companies

Power Construction Corp of China (PowerChina), which entered Turkey in 1993, is one such company.

Three hydroelectric plants - Feke-I, Feke-II and Karakuz, in Adana in southern Turkey, which were jointly developed by PowerChina, are only 200 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake and all of them withstood the effects of the disaster.


The main structures of the power stations remain intact and are operating normally. Their output provides guaranteed power for earthquake relief, according to the company.

To meet Turkey's growing electricity demand and economic transition, the company has built nine hydropower projects over the years, while actively pursuing local cooperation in green energy such as wind and solar energy.

"We will further monitor the comprehensive development plan for the disaster area prepared by the Turkish government, and we are willing to participate in the reconstruction of infrastructure, energy and electricity facilities, while helping people in the area to resume production and normal life as soon as possible and rebuild their homes," Power China said.

Henan D.R. The Construction Group told the Global Times on Tuesday that it is willing to participate in the future reconstruction of both Turkey and Syria.

The company is active in housing and highway construction and can help restore water and sewer systems, according to the company.

Heavy equipment manufacturer SANY Group said it is providing and coordinating equipment needed for rescue operations at the epicenter of the earthquake. It is also ready to participate in the reconstruction of the area, where excavators, cranes and concrete equipment can be used for those who need these items the most, the Global Times reported.

In a recent statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the government's goal was to rebuild "within a year," according to media reports.

But rebuilding, a major task due to the massive destruction, could take much longer, some media speculated, especially given the potential cost.

Bank of America estimates that rebuilding costs in Turkey could be between $3 billion and $5 billion, or possibly more, according to Bloomberg.

Zhang Xiang, director of the China International Contractors Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday that Chinese companies have the advantages, including in terms of capital and technology.

But whether there will be a need for foreign companies, including those from China, has yet to be decided.

It is not yet clear how such issues will be decided, a person close to the Turkish government told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"Turkey has the second largest manufacturing infrastructure in the world after China... so I don't think Chinese companies would have any benefit. But as I said, it's not very clear yet," the person said.

China-Syria relations

In January, China and Syria signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation under the BRI, providing strong support for Chinese companies to participate in the reconstruction process of Syria, a country devastated by years of war.

"We welcome Chinese companies to invest in Syria and participate in our economic reconstruction," Syrian Ambassador to China Muhammad Hassanein Khalil Khaddam told media in January.


From the above it is clear that China is attempting through its construction companies to penetrate Turkey and Syria for the rapid reconstruction of the areas affected by the earthquakes.

However, it is known that China is attempting, through financial lending and project construction to countries in need, to mortgage their foreign policy, gradually making them its satellites.


Erdoğan, who ordered reconstruction of the earthquake-hit areas in 1 year and with his back against the wall ahead of the elections, seems susceptible to tempting Chinese proposals, something that the US-EU should pay particular attention to.



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