His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces’ state visit to the People’s Republic of China from July 21-23, has advanced the relationship between the two nations in very real and practical ways.
It proved to be a momentous visit, with many noteworthy achievements. What was agreed was summed up succinctly through an announcement echoed by both President Xi Jinping and Sheikh Mohamed, that China and the UAE will work towards increasing bilateral trade volume to $200 billion by 2030. The target is more than a threefold increase, as trade is now estimated to be worth around $60 billion annually.
In order to achieve a practical way of making strides towards this target, the Chinese and UAE delegations, led by President Xi and Sheikh Mohamed, signed 16 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), with the aim of strengthening cooperation across a vast number of areas, including economy, trade, investment, technology, artificial intelligence, culture and education, as well as protecting the environment and achieving food security.
Cross-border investments have increased in a significant way, and Chinese and UAE companies are working in tandem to share technology, capital and market access. Financial cooperation is also deepening, as demonstrated by the agreement for China Everbright Group to set up its MENA financial and investment hub in Abu Dhabi Global Market.
President Xi and Sheikh Mohamed also signed an agreement aligning them with common goals. This document included commitments to development, growth, prosperity and stability. Amongst other aspects, there was also an agreement to adhere to the principles of mutual interest, equality and understanding.
Another series of milestones stemmed from the UAE-China Economic Forum, where 19 agreements and MoUs were signed by a broad range of sectors between numerous UAE and China businesses.
There was a fitting send-off towards the end of the visit, as a celebration was held marking the 35th anniversary of the establishment of friendship and bilateral relations between the UAE and China. A grand ceremony took place in Beijing, which was attended by Sheikh Mohamed, China’s Vice President Wang Qishan, the staff of the diplomatic mission and many high-level dignitaries, ministers, businesses and investors. There were even more agreements and MoUs achieved on sidelines of this event, between a number of Emirati and Chinese businesses, five more to cap off an extremely fruitful trip to China.
The celebration culminated with the unveiling of a new building for the UAE Embassy to China in Beijing. A modern and forward-looking building, this provides a physical expression of the long-lasting vision for the UAE-China relationship. The new Embassy is a symbol in itself, and a physical expression of a blueprint come to life, as the comprehensive strategic partnership outlined last year is in full swing, progressing and in action.
Sheikh Mohamed emphasised that “The two sides are laying pillars for the next 100 years, beginning with steps to teach the Chinese language in more than 200 schools in the UAE.” The vision of Sheikh Mohamed is supported by an MoU between the UAE Ministry of Education and The Confucius Institute Headquarters of China, which will provide high-quality Chinese Language Teaching in UAE schools, ensuring clearer communication and understanding in a shared lingua franca for generations to come.
Sheikh Mohamed concluded his visit stating that the two sides are creating a “road map” for a century of prosperity as he concluded a landmark three-day visit to Beijing.