World

Turkish President Erdogan visits Beijing amid tensions over treatment of ethnic minority

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, shows the way for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, shows the way for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, are greeted by Chinese children jumping and waving Chinese and Turkish national flags during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, are greeted by Chinese children jumping and waving Chinese and Turkish national flags during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, inspect a Chinese guard of honor during a welcome ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, inspect a Chinese guard of honor during a welcome ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Beijing amid tensions over China's treatment of its Uighur minority and sensitive negotiations surrounding the possible purchase of a Chinese missile system.

While the sides enjoy outwardly friendly relations, Turkish public sentiment has been inflamed by reports that members of the Uighur minority located in China's northwest have been restricted in practicing their Islamic religion, especially during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Uighurs share close linguistic, cultural and religious ties with Turks.

Erdogan was due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday afternoon following a formal welcoming ceremony.

Turkey's 2013 agreement to buy China's HQ-9 air defense missile system has been criticized as incompatible with NATO weapons programs. Some also fear it could leak alliance military secrets to Beijing.