UAE-China relations are exemplary in tone - GulfToday

UAE-China relations are exemplary in tone

UAE-China

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Abu Dhabi. File/ WAM

The UAE-China bilateral relations have progressed robustly since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1984 and the state visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to China is sure to push the relationship to a much higher level.

Sheikh Mohamed’s visit comes at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping and he is expected to discuss with his Chinese counterparts ways of enhancing the comprehensive strategic relations between the two countries and a number of regional and international issues of common concern.

The UAE is known as the gateway to the markets of the Middle East. While the relationship has been growing strong in almost all sectors, the growth in bilateral trade is especially remarkable.

China is now the UAE’s second largest trading partner, with almost $60 billion bilateral trade in 2017, which is expected to reach up to $70 billion by 2020.

The benefits of the co-operation are immense. In the first five months of 2019, the bilateral trade amounted to $19 billion, up by 11.37 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

By the end of 2018, it is stated that there were altogether 5,977 effective business licences for Chinese companies registered in Dubai.

While over 4,000 Chinese companies are operating in the UAE, the UAE accounted for 30 per cent of Chinese exports to Arab countries, and 22 per cent of the Sino-Arab trade in 2017.

A special note should be taken of the fact that the UAE hosts an estimated 200,000 Chinese nationals who constitute the largest Chinese diaspora in the Middle East. Most of them are living in Dubai and there is a small community of around 2,000 in Abu Dhabi.

Xi Jinping’s three-day state visit to the UAE in July 2018 also helped elevate the relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The visit by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed to Beijing is his fourth and comes at a time when China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its modern renaissance.

During the previous trips, especially those in July 2015 and July 2018, the two countries laid down solid foundations for a partnership that registered landmark economic, scientific, artistic and cultural achievements.

On the cultural front, both the nations are intensifying strategic partnership by establishing joint cultural projects, participating in mutual cultural events and reinforcing cooperation in preservation of heritage.

The ‘Hala China’ initiative was established last year in the UAE to reinforce commercial and cultural ties between the two countries and launch cultural and heritage events.

China is a global political and economic powerhouse. The Abu Dhabi-Beijing partnership has undoubtedly become a unique international model in terms of trust and dependability.

Interestingly, China is slated to have one of the largest national pavilions at Dubai 2020 Expo, an extraordinary international show that will be the first to be staged in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, MEASA, in the 168-year history of the event.

Under the theme ‘’Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind - Innovation and Opportunity’’, the pavilion will serve the UAE-China strategic partnership and their commitment to laying the foundations of political development guided by tolerance and stability to build a bright future for mankind.

Sincere friendship and active collaboration between two mighty nations could help people reap huge benefits in the form of peace, progress and prosperity.

On this, the UAE-China relationship offers a flawless example.