"Belt and Road" Symposium on Language, Culture and Trade Between China-Türkiye Held Online


On September 20th, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the establishment of Confucius Institute at Yeditepe University in Türkiye, the "Belt and Road" Symposium on Language, Culture and Trade Between China-Türkiye was held online, which was co-hosted by Nankai University, Yeditepe University and Tianjin People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. Li Qin, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Türkiye, Wu Jian, Acting Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in Istanbul, Cansu KÖRKEM AKÇAY, Education Counselor of the Turkish Embassy in China, Huang Chunyan, Vice Chair of the Tianjin People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Wang Lei, Vice President of Nankai University, Fatma Yesim Ekinci, Vice Rector of Yeditepe University, and Chen Hong, Dean of the Cross-Cultural Exchange and Research Institute of Nankai University, attended the symposium and delivered opening speeches. Over 60 experts and scholars from China and Türkiye in the fields of education, culture, economy and trade gathered online to share exchange experiences and discuss further promotion of the cooperation between the two countries.

Li Qin said that in recent years, China and Türkiye have seen enhanced political mutual trust, closer economic and trade cooperation, and more frequent cultural exchanges, which greatly promoted mutual understandings and friendship between the two countries. He pointed out, China and Türkiye enjoy tremendous potential for future cooperation and hoped that the two countries will carry out higher-level and broader collaboration in areas such as language teaching, mutual learning of civilizations, strategic synergy, etc. 

Cansu pointed out that while the COVID-19 pandemic has posed an obstacle on international exchanges and cooperation, the two countries have never stopped carrying out exchanges in the fields such as education, culture and trade. She hoped to continue to contribute to the friendly cooperation between the two countries.

Huang Chunyan said that in recent years, Tianjin and Türkiye have carried out increasingly frequent people-to-people, economic and trade exchanges, and achieved steady progress in pragmatic cooperation. She mentioned when attending the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the leaders of the two countries jointly expressed that advancing China-Türkiye relations conforms to the long-term interests of the two countries and is important for fostering solidarity and cooperation among developing countries. And the two countries should focus on the development and cooperation and give full play to the roles of various cooperation mechanisms and respective advantages. Huang Chunyan stressed the importance of high-quality joint construction of the "Belt and Road", and hoped in the future, more solid progress could be made in terms of promoting "sister city" cooperation, supporting projects for public well-being, sharing the stories of Tianjin and Türkiye cooperation under the "Belt and Road" as well as optimizing the business environment, etc. 

In his speech, Wang Lei said that the "Belt and Road" Initiative was initiated by China, but its opportunities and achievements are shared by the world. The civilizations of China and Türkiye go back a long way. As the Belt and Road Initiative is being implemented, the two countries have deepened cooperation in emerging fields such as finance, medicine, new energy, and digital economy, and have conducted fruitful exchanges and dialogues between civilizations. This symposium will focus on key topics such as Chinese and Turkish languages, culture and trade in the context of the "Belt and Road", and will inspire more bilateral collaborations. He also briefly presented the global engagement of Nankai University and in particular, introduced the Confucius Institute at Yeditepe University. 

Fatma Yesim said the symposium is important from two perspectives. First, to cope with the impact and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Türkiye need the "Belt and Road" Initiative more than ever to empower themselves and give a new impetus to the bilateral cooperation. Second, the meeting coincides with the fifth anniversary of the establishment of Confucius Institute at Yeditepe University. She hoped that more activities can be carried out through the Confucius Institute platform in a bid to enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples. 

Chen Hong pointed out that civilizations become more colorful through exchanges and mutual learning. The Confucius Institute jointly established by the two universities has served as a platform of dialogue for scholars, experts and students from the two countries, which enhanced mutual understandings between the Chinese and Turkish people, and promoted cultural exchanges. He said that this symposium will play an exemplary role in promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and at the same time, contribute more high-quality academic resources for the "Belt and Road" Initiative. 

At the symposium, experts and scholars conducted exchanges and discussions on three topics: "Chinese Language Teaching in Türkiye", "Cultural Exchange Between China and Türkiye" and "Economic and Trade Exchanges Between China and Türkiye". Prof. Bülent OKAY, a famous sinologist from Ankara University, Liu Bo, a famous artist and professor of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, and Ms. Deng Ling, Chief Representative of the Tianjin Representative Office of International Silk Road Trade and Cultural Association (Türkiye), delivered wonderful keynote speeches.

In his concluding remarks, Wu Jian said that experts and scholars from China and Türkiye discussed the past, the present and the future of China-Türkiye cooperation, and exchanged views on language, culture, economy and trade. He sincerely wished that the two sides will continue to play an active role in education, culture, economy and trade and other areas so as to facilitate the closer relationship between the two peoples and the high-quality development of the "Belt and Road" construction. 

The Confucius Institute at Yeditepe University is the first Confucius Institute launched by Nankai University in countries participating in the "Belt and Road" Initiative. Since its establishment, the Confucius Institute has offered a series of distinctive Chinese language courses and high-quality cultural activities. Through this platform, Nankai University and Yeditepe University have carried out substantial collaborations, such as students and faculty exchanges, co-hosting lectures and seminars, etc, making a contribution to the educational and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

(Edited and translated by Nankai News Team)