Time : 11:15: Dec-16, 20

Xi's Visit a Milestone in UAE Ties

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arrived in the capital of the on Thursday, kicking off a two-day state visit.

This is the first visit to the Arab nation by a Chinese head of state in 29 years.

During the visit, Xi is scheduled to meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

A series of important agreements in such cooperation areas as the Belt and Road Initiative, production capacity, energy, agriculture and finance are expected to be reached during the visit.

It will be a new milestone in the China-UAE relationship, said UAE Ambassador to China Ali Al Dhaheri.

"The visit is an important step as the UAE seeks to build long-term economic, cultural, trade and investment ties with China," he said.

Huang Yongzhang, president of the Chinese Business Council in the UAE, said Xi's visit will boost political and economic ties between the two countries.

The economic ties between the two countries reflect their keenness to promote investments and development projects, Huang told UAE state news agency WAM.

"The coming period will witness the establishment of new partnerships between Emirati and Chinese companies in many key sectors, such as industry, manufacturing, finance, culture, education, energy and agriculture," Huang said.

The UAE ambassador also spoke highly of the strategic partnership between the two countries, which was established in 2012. The UAE is the first Arab country that entered into such a partnership with China.

He noted that the high-level exchanges between the two countries have played a vital role in promoting the China-UAE relationship to achieve new progress.

The China-UAE relationship is at the best period in history. The UAE is one of the Middle East countries that have the most in-depth cooperation with China in the broadest areas with most concrete achievements, Ni Jian, Chinese ambassador to the UAE, told Xinhua News Agency.

"It is an example of the pragmatic and win-win cooperation based on mutual respect between China and the Arab and Islamic countries," Ni said.

China has been the UAE's largest trading partner for several years while the UAE has become China's second-largest trading partner and largest destination of exports in the West Asia and North Africa region.

In 2017, two-way trade volume reached $40.98 billion, a year-on-year increase of 2.3 percent, the Foreign Ministry said.

Xi's first overseas trip of the year will also bring him to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa. He will attend the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg and visit Mauritius during a stopover.

Xi is making the state visits at the invitation of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

On Wednesday, Xi published a signed article titled Working Hand in Hand for a Better Future in two leading newspapers in the UAE. He noted that in the past year the number of Chinese tourists traveling to the UAE exceeded 1 million for the first time.



(Source: China Daily)