Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 13 December 2019

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to visit China next week

Visit follows a year of investment and growing ties between the countries

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, shakes hands with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 14, 2015. AFP
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, shakes hands with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 14, 2015. AFP

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed will embark on an official visit to China next week to further cement ties between the Emirates and the world's most populous country.

During the visit Sheikh Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials.

He and Mr Xi will review co-operation between the two countries across various sectors, as well as regional and international issues of interest, the state news agency Wam reported.

Among the senior figures accompanying the Crown Prince will be Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, chief executive of Adnoc Group and chairman of Masdar.

The visit to China comes almost a year after Mr Xi travelled to the UAE, further cementing the history of trade and co-operation between the two countries.

Today, there are estimated to be 200,000 Chinese living in the UAE, mostly in Dubai, in industries ranging from construction and oil to retail.

There is also a small community of about 2,000 in Abu Dhabi.

"Over 28 years ago, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan visited China, founded the strategic relationship between the two countries that has yielded fruitful trade and investment, as well as cultural relations, for more than three decades," Sheikh Mohamed said before Mr Xi's trip last year.

In April, China signed an agreement to invest $3.4 billion (Dh12.49bn) into shipping and food projects in Dubai, as part of its Belt and Road economic megaproject.

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Dubai Ruler in China for Belt and Road summit

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In December 2015, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed wrapped up a three-day official tour of China declaring that it had been “outstanding”.

He arrived in Beijing for meetings promote the development of friendly relations and co-operation with China but took some time to visit some of the country's most famous tourist attractions, including the Great Wall.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, visits the Great Wall of China at Badaling, at the start of his official three-day state visit. Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visits the Great Wall of China at Badaling, at the start of his official three-day state visit. Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi

After a visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to China in April 2019, two projects worth a total of $3.4bn investments were announced.

The first was a to build a "traders' market" that would be built along Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road opposite the Expo Dubai site, over an initial area of 186 hectares.

The Chinese company Yiwu will invest $2.4bn in the project, which includes large logistics warehouses and wholesale shops, which will strengthen Jebel Ali Free Zone’s role in supporting regional and global trade movement.

The second agreement was signed with the China-Arab investment Fund, which would invest $1bn on a "vegetable basket" project in Dubai.

It will include huge complexes and cold storage warehouses for importing, processing, packaging, storing and re-exporting agricultural, livestock and fish products.

Over the past 2,000 years, the ancient Silk Road has formed a bond between Chinese and Arab people.

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Xi Jinping's state visit to the UAE

Updated: July 19, 2019 01:54 AM

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