Turkey is ready to build a greater strategic relationship with Beijing and is not worried about upsetting its traditional ally the United States and Europe, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said. Babacan also said that Turkey - the only Nato member country to hold joint military exercise with China - would 'leave the door open' for the two armies to hold similar drills again. 'The 2010 military drill enhanced confidence between the two sides. Our military-to-military contact is now much closer,' Babacan said. He was referring to a joint exercise in September 2010, which was the first time that Beijing had sent troops to a Nato country. 'Turkey is a committed member of Nato but we are also very much willing to increase co-operation with China. We don't see this as mutually exclusive. 'Forget about the cliche of the last century. [We should] focus on a new era of global balance [of power]. Turkey has a sense of global responsibility and so does China,' Babacan said. 'We want to build mutual trust and better understanding.' Babacan made the comments during a one-day visit to Hong Kong. He also disclosed that Ankara would talk to Beijing about building two nuclear power plants in Turkey. His visit will be followed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's trip to Beijing next month. Last month vice-president and heir-apparent Xi Jinping visited Turkey. The flurry of high-level exchanges between the two fast-growing countries has shown how eager both are to maximise mutual opportunities. China is now the world's second largest economy. Turkey is the 16th but is expected to be in the top 10 soon, given its sustained 6 per cent average annual growth rate. Bilateral trade is likely to grow from US$24 billion to US$100 billion over the next eight years, according to an agreement signed during Xi's visit to Turkey last month. While the huge trade deficit Turkey runs against China has been an issue, Babacan said he believed this could be addressed, partly through opening up services and the tourism market to Chinese consumers. More importantly, with the euro zone deeply mired in crisis and recession, Turkey will look to China as an important source of foreign investment. Mainland telecommunications giant Huawei has moved its regional headquarters to Istanbul and Ankara wants to see more Chinese companies based in Turkey. Politically, many Chinese experts have come to view Turkey with respect and interest. In particular, they are impressed by the political stability in the country when many parts of the Middle East and Mediterranean are caught in political turmoil. As Turkey's influence in the region grows, Beijing is seeing it as a potential strategic partner. 'For China, we should attach [more] importance to regional powers around the world. As our global influences grow, we need to intensify ties with countries like Turkey' wrote Zan Tao, a Peking University scholar who specialises in Turkey and the Middle East. 'Today there are many mutual interests between Turkey and China. We need to realise Turkey's strategic importance and its unique position as a bridge between Asia and Europe.'