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Abdullah bin Zayed meets Chinese Foreign Minister

posted on 03/05/2017: 1862 views


BEIJING: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met with Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China in Beijing today.

During the meeting, held as part of Sheikh Abdullah's official visit to China, they discussed relations of friendship between the UAE and China and growing cooperation in in economic, commercial, investment, tourism and renewable energy fields.

Also discussed were ways to enhance bilateral relations to serve mutual interests, as well as issues of mutual concern, including the situation in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya.

Sheikh Abdullah lauded the strong relations between the UAE and China and the keen interest of the leadership in the two countries to further cooperation in a way that will meet the aspirations of the two friendly peoples.

The Foreign Minister of China welcomed Sheikh Abdullah's visit to China and said his country was looking forward to enhancing its relations with the UAE.

Sheikh Abdullah and Wang Yi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Joint Cooperation Committee between the Governments of the United Arab Emirates and the People's Republic of China.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Minister of Information Office of the State of China also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the media field between the UAE's National Media Council and the State Information Office of China.

Sheikh Abdullah received an official letter from Jiang Zengwei, Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, confirming China's participation in EXPO Dubai 2020.

Sheikh Abdullah headed the inaugural meeting of the UAE-China Joint Cooperation Committee.

In his speech, he thanked Wang Yi and members of the Chinese side in the Committee for the warm hospitality accorded to the members of the visiting UAE delegation.

His Highness said, "It is a great pleasure to be once again in Beijing and I am so delighted in being in such a rich country of ideas, of values and of success. We can reflect on our relationship and be very proud of what we have both achieved. My team and I are extremely grateful for the warmth that we have felt since we have arrived, and for the admiration that your team has expressed in terms of how much China values the relationship with the UAE."

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah continued by saying, "We very much are committed to further enhancing the relationship between our two countries, a relationship that we value highly, along with the wise policies of China. We also stress our strong commitments to the one China policy. We definitely look forward, your Excellency, to further enhancing our relationship in all areas. I would very much reiterate what you have said, not only just now but also during our meetings, on the seven points you have put forward on the future of this relationship."

He said that having CFC and CNPC start to operate in UAE oil fields is a very strong message and indicator of how both countries are very much committed, not only in the current relationship but in the relationship that goes decades into the future.

He expressed the hope that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the GCC and China will go forward "at a time when we are seeing the new silk road moving from being a dream to a reality."

"We currently very much appreciate that the trade between our two countries has crossed the 50 billion US Dollars mark, without the oil sector being counted, but we very much see that our relationship can go further forward, especially looking at the UAE as not only the 2nd largest market in the Middle East but the centre of logistics, finance and trade for the region."

He said that since the UAE has lifted the visa requirement for the Chinese citizens, the number of Chinese tourists has increased by 70 percent.

"As we speak, China is the Guest of Honour at the Abu Dhabi book fair, which is not only a great presence for the UAE, but also the presentation of 700 Chinese books, translated into Arabic for the first time over the last year, is a great cultural achievement. We look forward to seeing more schools in the Emirates where Chinese can be taught as a language for students, and I must say that we look forward to a successful China Pavilion at Dubai EXPO 2020, so thank you for your commitment today."

He concluded by saying, "This has been a fantastic visit with very successful meetings, I wish you all the very best and I thank you on my behalf, on behalf of our government, and I wish your country always the best of luck and success."

Addressing the meeting, the Foreign Minister of China said, "Just now, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah and I co-chaired the first meeting of the committee on cooperation between the government of China and the government of the United Arab Emirates. The inception of this committee was agreed upon by President Xi Jinping and the UAE leadership as an important step to build the China-UAE Strategic Partnership and further increase mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. I am very happy today to launch this committee as we have now taken an important step to follow on the leaders agreements and our first meeting was very successful."

He said the two countries reached extensive consensus on the future steps to further strengthen this strategic partnership and identified cooperation in seven key areas, adding that the Chinese proposals had been warmly responded to by the foreign minister.

"We have laid out the overall plan for the future cooperation we are determined to further strengthen our strategic and political mutual trust," he noted.

He also said that China will continue to remain committed to stability and development in the Middle East as it looks at the UAE as an important strategic partner to maintain stability in the Gulf region, adding that the two countries work together to seek political settlement of regional hot-spot issues, adding that China also appreciates the continued commitment to the one China policy.

"We expressed satisfaction in the upstream and lower stream oil cooperation between the two countries, we are satisfied with the progress made and we stress the importance of further accelerating the oil and gas development cooperation in the construction of ports and the development of port-side industrial parks and other important strategic programmes to expand areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. We will work to strengthen connectivity and the upgrade of industries so that we can provide sustained inputters to our future cooperation. We will explore cooperation in some forward looking areas, for example nuclear energy power generation, clean energy, and aviation and aerospace, and we agree that there is a broad space for future cooperation and the potential is huge."

Minister Wang Yi went on to say, "We believe that it is very important to promote people-to-people and cultural exchange. As an important part of the overall relationship, we will further strengthen exchanges in education and culture and between our young people we will explore more opportunities for law enforcement and security cooperation to play a bigger role in providing facilitation and security guarantees for our people to people exchange."

He applauded the UAE's decision to grant visa exemptions for Chinese citizens holding ordinary passports, saying that this will make the travel of Chinese people easier.

"Last year, about 600,000 visits were made between the two countries and I believe that with the visa policy in place, that number will increase rapidly and soon the number will exceed 1 million."

He said that both China and the UAE support trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation and advocate open and transparent regional free trade arrangements adding that the two countries will further step up coordination and cooperation to conclude the substantive negotiations on China - GCC free trade area at an early date.

"Minister Sheikh Abdulla also updates me on the development of the situation in the Middle East and also he reaffirmed his commitment against terrorism and opposition to the radicalised thinking that is behind the spread of terrorism. I fully understand, appreciate and support what he said; China stands ready to work with the UAE and other parties to participate in international cooperation against terrorism, and at the same time we will step up exchanges and cooperation with the UAE and other countries in the Middle East and the Gulf area to fight against the spread of radicalised ideologies."

"All in all, we believe that the first meeting of this intergovernmental cooperation committee is very successful. I want to thank the UAE Foreign Minister and the officials that he has brought with him to China for their input and contribution. I believe that we can fully leverage the role of this mechanism to elevate our strategic partnership to a higher level," he concluded.

The meeting and the committee session was attended by Mohammed Sharaf Al Hashemi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic and Commercial Affairs.

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