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Mohammed bin Rashid wraps up historic visit to China

posted on 05/04/2008: 716 views



Beijing - HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai yesterday wrapped up a four-day official visit to China.

Described as historic and highly significant, the visit was marked by a flurry of high-profile diplomatic activity, including meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Vice President Xi Jinping and Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao.

Sheikh Mohammed and the Chinese officials whom he met all concurred that this visit would add a new impetus to the Sino-UAE ties.

As he warmly welcomed Sheikh Mohammed, President Hu, expressed the hope that this visit to China would further boost relations of friendship and cooperation between the UAE and China. The Chinese president described Sheikh Mohammed as "an old friend of the Chinese leadership and people". He said Sheikh Mohammed played a major role in the boosting bilateral ties between the two countries. For his part, Sheikh Mohammed said it was a great honour for him to be in Beijing to meet the Chinese president and to have first hand information about the great Chinese people, adding that the UAE leadership and people have great respect for the Chinese leadership and people.

The UAE Vice President lauded the volume of trade exchange between his country and China. He described these relations as "outstanding, historical and vibrant".

The importance of Sino-UAE relations was further echoed in meetings that brought together Sheikh Mohammed with the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who expressed confidence that Sheikh Mohammed's visit to China adds fresh momentum to historical relations between the two countries. Chinese Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao also underlined the importance of the visit, noting that Sheikh Mohammed was as a familiar figure with whom he had a memorable audience during the World Economic Forum in China last year.

With the UAE's trade with China recording 40 per cent growth in recent years, the Asian economic giant is now the largest trade partner for the UAE. This explains why Sheikh Mohammed's delegation concluded a number of agreements and MoUs on a whole range of economic, health, cultural and judicial issues.

On a cultural and historical note, Sheikh Mohammed visited the Great Wall of China, which has been visited by over 400 Heads of states and governments since it was built in 400 BC to protect the boarders of the Chinese Empire during the successive dynasties. At the end of the tour of the wall, Sheikh Mohammed wrote in the visitors' book: 'The Wall of China is one of the wonders of the world. I am honoured to be visiting this historical landmark on earth'.

The UAE Vice President and Prime Minister was accompany by a high-level delegation that included HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs , H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai airports Authority and president of the Emirates Group, H.E. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, H.E. Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State, a number of Dubai officials and UAE ambassador to China, H.E. Mohammed Rashid Al-Bout. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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