Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

UAE and China sign strategic agreements as Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed visits Beijing

Deals worth billions signed in energy, technology, defence, environment and education sectors

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces was welcomed at the Great Hall of the People, in the country's capital, with an official reception ceremony.

Sheikh Mohamed and his accompanying delegation were greeted by Mr Xi and a number of senior Chinese officials before the two leaders stood to hear the national anthems of both countries.

The Artillery fired 21 rounds in salute of Sheikh Mohamed, who then inspected a Guard of Honour, according to state news agency Wam.

The UAE and Chinese delegations then held a meeting to discuss ways of increasing co-operation between the two countries across various sectors, and discuss regional and international issues of common interest.

"Today, I am pleased to meet with my dear friend Xi Jinping, President of China," Sheikh Mohamed tweeted on Monday.

"We share common aspirations, ambition, a vision of investment in human capital and envisage a future of safety, peace and stability worldwide. The UAE and China are moving towards a promising future," he said.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE and China have had a strong relationship since they established ties in November 1984. He also spoke of UAE Founding Father Sheikh Zayed's visit to China in 1990, which he said helped lay the foundation for the two countries' relationship today.

"Upgrading the current strategic partnership in place between the two countries since 2012 to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the occasion of the historic visit of the Chinese President to the UAE in 2018 was the culmination of the long and successful path of UAE-China cooperation, which led to pioneering partnerships in various fields," Sheikh Mohamed said, adding that the UAE will work to strengthen the relations even further in coming years.

Sheikh Mohamed said trade between the two countries had grown significantly over the past few years, making China a very important trading partner for the Emirates. He said the UAE has opened its doors to Chinese investments and is encouraging Emirati businessmen to invest in China.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

On Monday, the two leaders witnessed the signing of 16 agreements in the fields of economy, oil and environment. In a tweet, Sheikh Mohamed wrote the agreements were aimed at "developing co-operation and a comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as opening new horizons for joint action in various sectors".

Among the agreements was a deal signed between Dubai's Emaar Properties with Beijing Daxing International Airport to implement a $11 billion (Dh40.5 bn) project including residential and leisure facilities across a 5 square kilometre area at the airport. Emaar will open an office in Beijing on Monday, Wam reported.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) also signed an agreement with state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation to explore collaboration in upstream as well as downstream with the world’s largest oil importer.

After the signing ceremony, the UAE-China Economic Forum commenced. It was attended by more than 500 business people from both countries with the aim of boosting bilateral investment. The forum, organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy, in co-operation with the Presidency Affairs Court, was inaugurated by Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Mohammed Al Abbar, chairman of Emaar Group, who was the forum’s guest of honour.

The last forum was held in Abu Dhabi in 2018, during Mr Xi's visit to the Emirates.

Sheikh Mohamed arrived in China on Sunday, beginning his three-day official visit.

He was accompanied by a number of senior figures, including Sheikh Said bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, chief executive of Adnoc Group and chairman of Masdar; along with ministers of energy, economy and culture.

When Sheikh Zayed visited China in 1990 — in pictures

Updated: July 23, 2019 01:45 PM

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