Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces gave a grand welcome to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi on Friday morning.
Video: UAE leaders with Xi Chinese President after their meeting
Chinese President honoured with Zayed Medal
Mohamed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Rashid present the Order of Zayed, conferred on HE Xi Jinping, President of China, by HH Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE. pic.twitter.com/SAKZuNtzQk— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) July 20, 2018
President Xi was given the award on behalf of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
After the ceremony, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and President Xi attended the signing of 13 agreements and memoranda of understanding between the two countries.
Leaders hold talks with Chinese President
Mohammed bin Rashid and Mohamed bin Zayed discuss strengthening strategic bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest with the Chinese President. pic.twitter.com/MT9XecCkDR— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) July 20, 2018
Xi Jinping received at Presidential Palace
Mohammed bin Rashid and Mohamed bin Zayed receive the Chinese President at the Presidential Palace where he is accorded an official reception. pic.twitter.com/2zQJKee2KS— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) July 20, 2018
The First Lady of China at Louvre Abu Dhabi
Honored to tour the @LouvreAbuDhabi with The First Lady of China, a magnificent living portrait of the successful Chinese woman. She makes headlines with her humanitarian work and plays a key role in empowering women as UNESCO'S special envoy to promote female education. pic.twitter.com/6B32xcoc4j— نورة الكعبي (@NouraAlKaabi) July 20, 2018
The visit comes amid a backdrop of growing UAE, China relations on all fronts: economic, political and cultural.
The Chinese President and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince inspected a guard of honour after the national anthems of both countries were played.
As the Chinese President arrived, from the UAE side there were several ministers, including Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Adnoc CEO among others. Several government officials and dignitaries were also present along with Chinese ambassador to the UAE as well as other Chinese officials.
A delegation of Chinese media and local media assembled at the palace to cover the event, the first such visit by the Chinese President to the UAE.
Later, officials from the UAE and Chinese sides went in for a closed door meeting at the palace.
Currently there are strong bilateral ties between the two countries. About 4,200 Chinese companies are operating in the UAE and the bilateral trade in 2017 exceeded more than $50 billion.
By Fareed Rahman, Senior Reporter
Arrival on Thursday
Chinese President Xi Jinping in UAE: Xi praises country's growth model and tolerance
Abu Dhabi: President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday on a three-day state visit to the UAE accompanied by First Lady Peng Liyuan.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received the distinguished guests and his accompanying delegation at the Presidential Flight.
Upon his arrival, President Xi Jinping was accorded an official reception ceremony including the playing of the national anthem of China and a 21-gun salute.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed welcomed the Chinese President, expressing their happiness at his visit to the UAE and hoping that such a visit would establish a new stage of cooperation and joint work to serve the interests of both nations.
Watch: The UAE dispatched fighter jets to escort the Xi’s plane as soon as it entered the country’s airspace
The UAE leaders and President Xi exchanged cordial talks about shared historical relations, which have seen a unique development and improvement on all levels.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid highlighted the significant role that China plays in regional and international political and economic issues and the pillars of understanding, coordination and consultation with the UAE to serve security, peace and development in the region and the world.
"The UAE today welcomed the Chinese President Xi Jinping on his first overseas visit after being re-elected as president of China. We value this visit and consider it historic, as it establishes a new strategic stage in the relations of both countries” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid has tweeted.
“The UAE accounts for about a quarter of the Arab trade with China, with nearly Dh 200 billion in 2017 and the UAE welcomed more than 1 million Chinese tourists in 2017. We have partnerships in various sectors including oil, renewable energy, and infrastructure as well as technology. We seek to double these figures in the coming period,” he continued.
“The UAE is the first Gulf country to have strategic relations with China. There is consensus between the UAE and China in many regional and international issues. We seek to consolidate cultural, popular and human relations, in addition to our strong economic and political relations,” Shaikh Mohammad further said on twitter.
الإمارات هي أول دولة خليجية أقامت علاقات استراتيجية مع الصين ، وهناك توافق بيننا وبين الصين في الكثير من الملفات الإقليمية والعالمية، ونسعى لترسيخ علاقات ثقافية وشعبية وإنسانية بجانب علاقاتنا الاقتصادية والسياسية القوية pic.twitter.com/R8hbxSsIbJ— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 19, 2018
تستحوذ الإمارات على حوالي ربع التجارة العربية مع الصين بما يقارب ال200 مليار درهم في 2017 ، وزارنا أكثر من مليون صيني في 2017 ، ولدينا شراكات في قطاعات النفط والطاقة المتجددة والبنية التحتية والتكنولوجيا ... نسعى لمضاعفة هذه الأرقام الفترة القادمة pic.twitter.com/N01bN6ve0x— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 19, 2018
استقبلت دولة الإمارات اليوم بكل الترحيب الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ في أول زيارة خارجية له بعد إعادة انتخابه رئيسا للصين. نثمن هذه الزيارة، ونعتبرها تاريخية، وتؤسس لمرحلة استراتيجية جديدة في العلاقات بين البلدين pic.twitter.com/c29J6wAReT— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 19, 2018
Watch: Welcome gate in Abu Dhabi for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United Arab Emirates.
“We are pleased with the Chinese President visit to the UAE. A historic visit by all standards and heralds a new stage of cooperation between the two countries in all fields, which will bring prosperity, development and prosperity to the peoples of the two countries” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said on his twitter page.
“The UAE and China shares many interests including peace, stability, development, investment and preparation for the future. Our long-standing relationship and partnership comes in response to the changes and development requirements of both countries. , Our confidence in President Xi’s vision and building on his historic visit is a major milestone for our common goals”, Shaikh Mohammad also tweeted.
For his part, the Chinese President expressed his happiness to visit the UAE, with which China share friendly relations and a common vision on many issues, wishing the UAE further growth, progress and prosperity.
“In response to the kind invitation of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, I am very pleased to visit the UAE. On this occasion, I would like to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, our sincere greetings and good wishes to the Government and the people of the UAE, the Chinese President said.
“The UAE has always been outpacing the Middle East countries in terms of economic diversification, tolerance and social openness. It is an ideal model for development and prosperity in the Arab world and plays a positive role in maintaining and promoting peace and stability in the region since the establishment of diplomatic relations 34 years ago.
China and the UAE have always dealt with one another based on respect and equality. The bilateral relations have seen great development and the practical cooperation in all fields has achieved fruitful results” President Xi added .
Present at the reception ceremony were Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Lt. General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as other ministers and top officials.
Earlier report from Samir Salama, Associate Editor:
President Xi’s visit features a series of high-level meetings aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries with a view to beginning a new phase of long-term, mutually beneficial, co-operation.
President Xi is scheduled to visit Louvre Abu Dhabi and cultural exchange is an important part of the visit.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping in this “historic visit that celebrates the strategic partnership between the two countries and establishes a new phase of fruitful co-operation and promising outlooks”.
“The UAE currently hosts 200,000 Chinese citizens and 4,000 trading companies. We seek to build long-term economic, cultural, and trade and investment ties with China. We are happy to celebrate China’s rich and continued historical culture on an annual basis,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid said in an earlier statement.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the UAE and China play a pivotal role in the stability of the region and its economic future.
“Over 28 years ago, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan visited China, founded the strategic relationship between the two countries that has yielded fruitful trade and investment as well as cultural relations for more than three decades,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed added.
“China is an international commercial giant with a global political weight playing an active role in stabilising the global economy and attaining peace and security,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said.
The UAE-China Week, running from July 17 to 24, coincides with the Chinese president’s visit and is aimed at placing a spotlight on the relations between the two nations, and to enhance trade cooperation and cultural exchange. Chinese cinema, literature, fashion and art are celebrated as part of events at Manarat Al Saadiyat.
The UAE will celebrate UAE-China Week annually, coinciding with Chinese New Year celebrations.
An economic forum will be held in the capital on Friday evening, which will be attended by Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and his Chinese counterpart Zhong Shan.
Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in the UAE-China economic partnerships, with the annual trade volume between the two countries exceeding $50 billion, making the UAE for successive years the second largest trading partner of China.
Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State, said our relationship with China is a long-term strategic one that encompasses a multitude of aspects — political, economic, cultural, social, tourism, among others.
He added the UAE-China relationship is rooted in the principles of mutual respect, constructive dialogue and meaningful cooperation to achieve their common interests in a variety of sectors.
Dr Al Jaber, also chairman of the National Media Council, said the strategic cooperation between the UAE and the People’s Republic of China aims to realise the interests of both countries across an array of fields, including politics, economy, trade, energy, technology, culture and tourism.
He stressed that there is already tangible, substantive cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector, with a significant number of projects and initiatives already under way between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Chinese energy companies.