Written by Ahmad Mulyadi, editor in chief of the international news of darimedia.ID
Türkiye and China are two great powers contributing to stabilize many conflicts in many other regions. This is due to their neutral position in relation with some other great powers.
One of the biggest conflicts in the 21st century, is the conflict in Ukraine. In this conflict, Türkiye and China are until now still exercising their influence as mediators between another great power namely Russia which is geopolitically considered as the enemy by the Western countries under American leadership, and Ukraine which is politically under strong influence of the West, especially USA, a great power seeking to dominate the world politics.
In this conflict, Türkiye’s role as mediator between Russia and the West is evident since the beginning of this conflict (the beginning of military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia in high scale) in the eastern part of Ukraine in 2022. Türkiye which has good relationship with both Russia and Ukraine, was even the only great power to get full trust from all sides involved in that conflict, to organize a conference for solving that conflict last year.
This Antalya Conference is highly appreciated not only by the countries which are directly involved in the conflict namely Ukraine and Russia, but also by some international organizations such as the UN and ASEAN, and some other countries indirectly involved in the conflict such as USA, England, and Germany. Türkiye, although is an active member of NATO, never positions itself as opposite side of both Russia and Ukraine in that conflict. Türkiye maintains consistently a harmonious relationship with all sides during this conflict until now, including with Russia and Ukraine.
That conference has proven the diplomatic power of Türkiye under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership. This growing influence of Türkiye is basically not separated from its rapidly increasing power both in soft and hard powers. Since the beginning of 2000’s, Turkish Government started many reforms in their policies in many sectors, including in economics/industry, foreign affairs, and military.
The economics of Türkiye has rapidly increased during Erdogan’s presidency. This positive tendency is the result of the increasing Turkish export and the positive development of Turkish industries, both in domestic and international levels. Türkiye under Erdogan’s regime is also successful in reducing its dependence from the products from other countries. Last year, one of the Turkish national industries has even launched an advanced electric car which is named TOGG. This car is considered as one of the best cars in its category and as a prove of the development of Turkish industry and technology.
In the foreign affairs, Türkiye has boosted its influence by increasing the number of its embassies abroad. Today, Türkiye is internationally ranked in the 5th position in the category of the number of the state representatives abroad (including embassies and consulates). Türkiye is placed only behind USA, China, France and Japan in this category. This successful effort is then followed by the increasing number of the cooperation between Türkiye and other states in many other sectors.
In the military sector, the Turkish government under Erdogan’s leadership has showed its significant advancement. Today, Turkish military is considered one of the most powerful and effective military in the world. This positive tendency is also not separated from the development of its military industry. The Turkish military industry has successfully produced and developed many high-quality military equipment and vehicles, such as military tanks and drones. The military drone produced by Türkiye has even become the most successful in the world based on the number of its sale (export).
These rapid developments in diplomatic, military, and economic/industrial sectors are some important factors which have brought Türkiye to a higher level of influence in the international scene. Off course, it also thanks to the persistent effort of Türkiye in applying a neutral and independent position in the international politics.
Besides Türkiye, another state with huge influence as mediator in the conflict between Ukraine (Ukraine under the West) and Russia is China. China’s rapid development in economic and industrial sector is the most important factor placing this great power in a central position among other great powers.
What makes China’s position strategical is the fact that China has strong economic cooperation both with Russia and the West, combined with China’s neutral position in the international politics including in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and also between Russia and the West.
This strong economic cooperation can be useful instrument for Chinese government to increase its influence in mediating the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and between Russia and the West. This economic power can also be a significant instrument to reduce the Western political influence in that conflict. Thus, it is not strange that some Western countries support China to participate actively in solving the conflict in Ukraine. The Western countries believe that China can influence the President of Russia in relation with the undergoing conflict in Ukraine, considering that China is one of the closest allied countries of Russia under Vladimir Putin’s leadership. Besides, the Western countries also do not object to let China have some political role in this issue, considering the important position of China in the world economics, including in the Western market.