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Chinese officials at a ceremony to mark the 71st Founding Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Chinese Consul-General Li Xuhang has praised and thanked the UAE for its strong friendship with China and said the two countries “have passed the test of the most severe pandemic of the century and turned crises into opportunities”.

Li’s comments were made during a virtual celebration on the eve of the 71st Founding Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Li said: “The COVID-19 pandemic that has been going on for almost the whole year, is affecting the whole world. We believe, however, the history of 2020 should not be written by the pandemic, but by the people instead. We believe that it is the people who create history.”

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He continued: “The heroic peoples of China and UAE, led by the leaders of our two countries, have passedthe test of the most severe pandemic in a century. Facing difficulties, we have turned crises into opportunities, making new contributions not only to the health of mankind but also to the peace and stability of the world.”

Strong support

Li noted His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, made phone conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak and provided strong support to China. “Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, lit up to support Wuhan and China. The Phase III trials of the world’s first inactivated COVID-19 vaccine jointly conducted by China and UAE have been progressing smoothly. Now, the UAE has approved the use of the vaccine,” Li continued.

The top Chinese diplomat praised the UAE efforts in fighting. He noted the UAE’s testing rate and treatment rate are among the highest in the world. “The UAE has provided 1,471 tonnes of medical supplies to 118 countries and regions while the Chinese Consulate in duai has mobilised the Chinese enterprises, local Chinese organisations, and Chinese students to establish a Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism to combat COVID-19. We connected health institutions in China, Dubai and other places by holding online conferences on pandemic prevention and control,” he added.

Win-win cooperation

Li, meanwhile, called on forging a ‘win-win cooperation’ among nations. He said: “COVID-19 reminds us that we are living in an interconnected global village with a common stake. All countries are connected and we share a common future. That is why we should embrace the vision of a community with a shared future in which everyone is bound together. We should see each other as members of the same family, pursue win-win cooperation, and respect each country’s independent choice of development path.”

Moving forward

Li Xuhang

Li said: “China has developed into the second largest economy and the largest manufacturing country in the world. (This year), China has balanced the prevention and control of the COVID-19 and economic and social development. From January to August, China grew in exports, industrial added value, consumption, investment, and many other major indicators. When the whole world is affected by the pandemic, China’s economy has grown against the challenging situation and delivered a remarkable result.”

He added China will be the only country among G20 that can achieve positive growth in 2020. “China is advancing a domestic and international development pattern in which domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement. China will continue to provide broader markets and more opportunities for UAE and countries around the world,” Li underlined.

Stronger UAE and China relations

Li emphasised the development strategies of the UAE and China are aligned and consistent. He noted the recently opened Chinese School Dubai will strengthen cultural and educational exchanges as well as attract more Chinese to put up businesses in Dubai.

Li also talked about taking a higher level of UAE-China partnership. He said: “Next year, we will meet at Dubai World Expo and celebrate UAE’s 50th anniversary. In the same year, Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe and the Chinese Tianwen-1 will meet on Mars.”

“UAE and Dubai governments vigorously promote the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have great potential to expand cooperation in the fields of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, smart cities, clean energy, food security, and more. There will also be new opportunities for cooperation in traditional fields such as trade, tourism, and culture. The Chinese Consulate in Dubai is willing to work with Dubai and the Northern Emirates to promote tangible cooperation between China and the UAE in various fields,” he concluded.