Leadership: China Buys Into The Middle East


October 20, 2010: NATO is not happy with Turkey hosting Chinese Su-27s and MiG-29s last month, for joint air exercises. NATO, especially the U.S., felt that this event allowed China to familiarize themselves with NATO air tactics and operations. Previously, these yearly Anatolian Eagle exercises involved Turkish, American and Israeli aircraft. But Turkey is cozying up to China, and other Islamic states, and pulling away from Israel and the West. For the last decade, a reform government, with Islamic roots, has ruled the country. While the corruption certainly needed attention, turning towards Islamic nations and away from Israel was not popular with Turkey's Western allies, or many Turks for that matter.

China has pledged to quickly increase trade between the two countries from the current $17 billion a year, to $50 billion. Despite this economic incentive from China, Turkey did pay attention to complaints from its fellow NATO members, and only used its older American F-4 aircraft for the exercises, rather than their more numerous F-16s. But Turkey has said it would increase military cooperation with China. Turkey has also held joint training exercises with neighboring Syria, a sworn enemy of Israel.



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