President Sheikh Mohamed discusses trade relationship with China’s Xi Jinping in Beijing

Banquet held in honour of UAE President, who is in China on a two-day state visit

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President Sheikh Mohamed met China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday to discuss bilateral relations and opportunities to expand the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership already agreed between the two nations.

The discussions took place in the Great Hall of the People, where Sheikh Mohamed’s delegation was welcomed earlier by Mr Xi on the first day of a two-day visit to the country, state news agency Wam reported.

During the talks, both sides acknowledged that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and China. The moment is seen as an opportunity to celebrate the progress made over the last four decades, specifically in economic, cultural and international collaboration.

Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Xi said they are committed to strengthening these ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues, including the war in Gaza.

Sheikh Mohamed thanked Mr Xi for the warm reception received in China, noting that relations between the two countries go back further than the start of formal diplomatic relations in 1984 because China recognised the UAE’s nationhood just days after its establishment in 1971.

Sheikh Mohamed also reflected on a visit by UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to China in 1990. Images from the trip showed Sheikh Zayed visiting the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City in Beijing.

He noted that Mr Xi’s visit to the UAE in 2018 marked a further historic milestone, culminating in the declaration of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Sheikh Mohamed said ties between the two nations have strengthened since, in areas such as the economy, energy, industry, investment and culture. China is the UAE’s top global trading partner and, Sheikh Mohamed said, there are joint efforts to double the volume of trade in the coming years.

He said the UAE, which has been a strategic partner in the Belt and Road Initiative since its inception, serves as an important trade gateway to the Arabian Gulf, the Middle East and the wider region.

Mr Xi later hosted a banquet in Sheikh Mohamed’s honour, attended by the UAE delegation along with several Chinese ministers and senior officials.

On Thursday, Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE was committed to working with its neighbours to support and enhance Arab-Chinese co-operation.

He was speaking at the opening session of the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Co-operation Forum.

Sheikh Mohamed also said he was confident China’s economy would continue to grow and develop while noting that the conference comes at a time when the world needs to unite in the face of common challenges.

He said the meeting represented the strength of Chinese-Arab relations and expressed his confidence that the summit would further enhance bilateral ties.

On Wednesday evening, Sheikh Mohamed was welcomed by a Chinese guard of honour at Beijing International Airport, after a two-day visit to South Korea.

He was met by a delegation including, Yin Hejun, China's Minister of Science and Technology, and Zhang Yiming, China's ambassador to the UAE.

Sheikh Mohamed has led a high-level delegation to China, which includes Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, adviser for special affairs at the Presidential Court; Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Mohamed Alsuwaidi, Minister of Investment; and Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

Updated: May 31, 2024, 9:42 AM