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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Sheikh Abdullah: UAE 'honoured' to partner with China

Writing ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah says China is steeped in history but also looking to the future

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, meets China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, last year in Beijing. Jason Lee / Getty 
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, meets China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, last year in Beijing. Jason Lee / Getty 

Some nations are immemorial, their roots firmly ingrained in the great depths of history, while others are young, passionately looking towards the future, conscientiously working on forging it. China is both intertwined.

It is in Ancient China that the compass and paper were invented, as well as xylography, later developed by the West to become the printing press. Gunpowder and crossbows also feature among prominent Chinese inventions that have swerved the course of mankind.

It is in China that oriental philosophy saw the light of day, where Confucianism underscores the simplicity of a life we insist on turning complex.

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From there shone the infinite wisdom of human heritage, and aspiring thinkers can but delve to learn from Chinese philosophical heritage and schools of thought, as beacons to show the way to a journey of enlightenment, as they have done for humanity for hundreds of years.

Today, China launches into the future at the speed of light, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. China's Research and Development investment from GDP will reach 2.5 per cent by 2020.

From investing in molecular biology labs to developing artificial intelligence and high-speed computers, China is taking great strides to achieve unprecedented breakthroughs in the field of science. Its scientific institutions are among the largest contributors to the production and development of all kinds of technologies.

We, in the UAE, are honoured to be partners of this eminent nation and to welcome the Chinese President and his accompanying delegation on this historic visit, through which we all seek to diligently work to ensure a better future for humankind.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed is the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.