Throughout history, there are highlights of human civilisation that light up the world with extraordinary significance and far-reaching influence. Fifty years ago, when the flag of the UAE was hoisted for the first time in front of Al Diafah Palace, a young nation embarked on a new journey to realising national prosperity and the well-being of its people, and wrote an epic chapter to change the Middle East and benefit humankind.
Fifty years of hard work has witnessed an independent development path blazed by the UAE. Under the leadership represented by the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed, the Emirati people worked diligently and explored a unique path of modernisation. The UAE has transformed from desert fishing villages to the most important trade, financial and shipping centre in the Middle East, as well as a hub for global high-tech industries. With its GDP now in world’s top 30, the UAE has become a most prosperous country where people live fulfilling lives and development opportunities abound.
Fifty years of tolerance has turned the UAE to an exemplary model of open, inclusive and diversified development. Sheikh Zayed once said: “Tolerance is a duty. To treat every person, no matter what his creed or race, as a special soul is a mark of Islam.”
The UAE upholds openness and tolerance, and welcomes people from all over the world to work and live here, creating harmonious coexistence for people from different countries of different social systems, religious beliefs and cultural traditions. The UAE has been one of the top countries in the World Happiness Report for many years.
Fifty years of peace-building has set the country on a progressive trend of maintaining world peace and development. Located in the Middle East, the UAE is well aware of the preciousness of peace and tranquillity. It has always pursued a moderate, balanced, and neighbourly foreign policy. It advocates the settlement of disputes through peaceful consultations and promotes regional and international peace and stability.
Not long ago, the UAE was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2022-2023 term, which reflects the international community’s wide recognition of the country’s unique role. As an active donor of foreign aid, the UAE has also sent large quantities of supplies to help other countries fight against Covid-19. As an important vaccine production and distribution centre in the Middle East, the UAE is making valuable contributions to humankind’s complete victory over the pandemic.
Since I assumed office as the Chinese ambassador to the UAE, I have often been moved deeply by the pioneering spirit of the Emirati people, who always dare to be the first in seeking innovation and development opportunities. I am also elated by the wide-ranging similarities shared by China and the UAE in many of their philosophies, and their development paths, reforms and sense of innovation.
As the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary, China is opening a new chapter to build a modern socialist country and march towards great rejuvenation at an unstoppable pace. To establish a closer comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the UAE meets not only the requirements of our times, but also the shared vision of our two peoples. Standing at a new historical starting point, China and the UAE will act with a broader vision, and a more open-mind and a more enterprising attitude to create an all-dimensional co-operation paradigm, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.
The world-renowned Golden Jubilee celebrations of the UAE are about to kick off, which will turn a new leaf in the country’s majestic history and herald a great journey for the next 50 years.
Sheikh Zayed once said, “I had many dreams. I dreamed of our land keeping pace with the growth of the modern world.”
We believe that with the Emirati leaders at the helm, the hard-working and intelligent people of the UAE will surely realise the country’s dream of lasting prosperity, tolerance and happiness. China is ready to work tirelessly with the UAE to develop China-UAE relations as “a major undertaking for the century”, and usher in a new era of realising the dreams of great rejuvenation of our two countries.
I wish the UAE prosperity and its people happiness and good health. May the friendship between China and the UAE last forever.