A performance during the grand reception for the occasion in Dubai Image Credit: Twitter/@CGPRCinDubai

Dubai: The UAE’s strategic partnership with China is “continuing to develop in the golden era”, as trade volume between two countries has recorded a new record high and cooperation has expanded further to deep space with a future joint mission to explore the moon.

These remarks were made by Chinese consul-general Li Xuhang in his speech during a grand reception in Dubai on Monday celebrating the 73rd founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Speaking to UAE officials, dignitaries, businessmen and leaders of the Chinese expat community, Li said: “2022 is another year of success for China-UAE relations. Under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping and President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the two countries have achieved prosperous outcomes in various fields.”

“China has maintained as the UAE’s largest trading partner for many years – the trade volume between China and the UAE reached $46.03 billion in the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 46.4 per cent, which is a new record high,” explained Li, adding: “Our bilateral cooperation was further extended to high-tech fields such as green energy and deep space.”

Space cooperation

Li noted: “On September 16, China National Space Administration (CNSA) visited Dubai and signed an agreement with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). They agreed that China’s Chang’e 7 will carry the UAE’s Rashid II lunar rover to the moon surface.”

“I can assure you that this is just the starting point for our deep space cooperation. Together, impossible is possible, sky is not the limit for the UAE and China,” he underlined.

Chinese ambassador Zhang Yiming had earlier told Gulf News: “With the continuous development of China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership, it is timely to strengthen cooperation in the space field. China-UAE lunar exploration cooperation is a key cooperation project that will lay a solid foundation for further deepening and expanding space cooperation between the two countries.”

Cultural exchanges

Li, meanwhile, also took note of the “rising people-to-people and cultural exchanges” between the UAE and China. He said: “Thanks to the guidance and support from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as the Knowledge and Human Development Authority and Community Development Authority, the number of students enrolled in Chinese School Dubai, the first Chinese public school outside China, has increased to nearly 500 this year. Our culture and education have brought our hearts together.”

During his speech, Li also addressed and thanked his compatriots residing in the UAE. He said: “I would like to say a few words to more than 300,000 Chinese compatriots, students and over 6,000 Chinese enterprises in our consular district. Thank you all for working hard, contributing to local economic and social development, and promoting the China-UAE friendship.”

“Now, the commercial flights between China and the UAE and economic opportunities are both increasing significantly. I believe we can seize the opportunity to promote the cooperation between the two countries. We will surely have a brighter and more prosperous future, together with our UAE brothers and sisters,” he concluded during the hybrid face-to-face and online celebration in Dubai that was marked by cultural performances beamed live from the famed China National Opera House in Beijing.

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Expats' plans

Chinese National Day is celebrated annually every October 1. It was on this day, 73 years ago that the Chinese Communist Party – after achieving victory in the Chinese Civil War – formally proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Gulf News spoke to Chinese expats in Dubai and asked them how they are going to commemorate their National Day.

Wang Shuibo

Wang Shuibo, Chinese journalist, Three Colours Publishing, Newspapers & Magazines

On Chinese National Day, we organise cultural events across the UAE, like traditional Chinese dancing and Chinese traditional music instruments playing. This day is among the other major Chinese festivals we celebrate in Dubai, like Chinese Spring Festival and Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. These events helped in making the relationship between the UAE and China stronger than ever.

Chen Yan

Chen Yan, vice general manager of CM International Middle East FZ-LLC

Chinese overseas celebrate the birthday of the motherland in various forms. We usually hold photo exhibitions to reminisce People’s Republic of China – from her founding to development and growth. We express our love for China and wish the motherland a happy birthday and greater prosperity.

Hu Ying

Hu Ying, general manager, Qiaoxing Training Institute

On the 73rd anniversary of China’s National Day, our families will reminisce how our soldiers and generals fought for China’s victory. Some Chinese language training institutions in Dubai will also organise activities for children to learn about the history of the People’s Republic of China, as they sing the Chinese national anthem and raise the Chinese national flag.

Pei Yonghong

Pei Yonghong, general manager, Nantong Construction Group

On this special day, we hold poetry and singing parties in praise of our motherland’s great rivers and mountains. We also watch the national flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square while singing the national anthem. We love our country and take great pride in her tremendous achievements in the past decades. As a Chinese expatriate in the UAE, I sincerely wish my motherland a better and stronger tomorrow, and I sincerely wish an everlasting friendship between the people of China and UAE.