Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to help make new 'blueprint' for partnership with China

Chinese minister says visit by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is milestone in two countries' growing friendship

BEIJING, CHINA - July 21, 2019: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (L), arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport, commencing a state visit to China. ( Rashed Al Mansoori / Ministry of Presidential Affairs ) ---
BEIJING, CHINA - July 21, 2019: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (L), arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport, commencing a state visit to China. ( Rashed Al Mansoori / Ministry of Presidential Affairs ) ---

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed will help to draw up a new 'blueprint' for the UAE's partnership with China during his official visit to the country.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces started a three-day tour of China on Sunday, during which he will hold key talks with President Xi Jinping to help strengthen ties.

A senior Chinese official said that the UAE would become a "shining pearl" in China's flagship Belt and Road initiative.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the UAE state news agency Wam that the visit would go down as a "milestone moment" in relations between the countries.

The Belt and Road initiative combines a land "economic belt" and a "maritime silk road" to link China with South-East, South and Central Asia, the Arabian Gulf, North Africa, and then Europe.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed will draw a new blueprint for China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership," Mr Wang said.

The two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral relations, as well as regional and international affairs during a meeting on Monday.

China is one of the UAE’s largest trading partners, with almost $60 billion (Dh220.37bn) of trade in 2017, a figure that is expected to reach $70bn by 2020.

"Our relationship, having stood the test of the changing international situation, has become a good example of state-to-state relations and a front-runner in China's relations with countries in the region," Mr Wang said.

"Our two countries enjoy solid political mutual trust and mutual understanding and support on issues bearing on each other's core interests and major concerns.

"With progress in energy, finance, infrastructure and industrial co-operation, our practical co-operation has been thriving in multiple areas."

He said the UAE's role in the Belt and Road strategy was beneficial to both countries.

"I believe as our two countries strive for substantive, steady and high-quality development of Belt and Road co-operation, the UAE will become a shining pearl along the Belt and Road," Mr Wang said.

During a visit to Beijing in April, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced deals worth $3.4bn had been agreed to by the two countries.

Sheikh Mohammed said China would invest $2.4bn to create a storage and shipping station over 557 hectares in Jebel Ali, Dubai, to export Chinese goods all over the world.

The Merchants' Market scheme will include large warehouses and wholesale outlets.

Sheikh Mohammed said $1bn would be spent on setting up a major food project in Dubai, which would involve importing, processing and packaging agricultural, fishery and animal products for export to the world.

Updated: July 31, 2019 08:16 PM

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