40th Anniversary of China-UAE Diplomatic Relations: UAE President's Visit to China

Technology Author: EqualOcean News May 29, 2024 05:48 PM (GMT+8)

At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), President of the United Arab Emirates, will begin a state visit to China on Thursday, May 30. This marks the UAE President's first visit to China in two years. During the visit, the leaders of both countries will discuss bilateral relations and opportunities for further cooperation, particularly in the fields of economy, development, and culture. These discussions will take place within the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the UAE and China, aiming to contribute to sustainable development and economic growth for both nations.

During his previous visit to China, Mohamed bin Zayed attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, but at that time, he was still the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Since his brother Khalifa (the late former President of the UAE, after whom the Burj Khalifa was named due to his generous financial assistance to Dubai) suffered a stroke in 2014, MBZ has been the de facto ruler of the UAE.

MBZ is no stranger to China, having visited the country six times and publicly stating multiple times that "China is my second home." However, this high-profile visit on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the UAE is indeed his first state visit as President of the UAE.

Accompanying the President on this state visit will be senior representatives from various sectors, including the UAE Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Economy, Investment, and Foreign Trade, as well as officials and business leaders from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and other emirates, representing government, financial institutions, energy, automotive, telecommunications, e-commerce logistics, and tourism industries. To complement this visit, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the UAE Ministry of Economy will host the "China-UAE Business Investment Forum" in Beijing on May 31. Additionally, Mohamed bin Zayed will attend the 40th-anniversary celebration of China-UAE diplomatic relations and the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.

The UAE is China's fifth-largest source of crude oil imports. In 2023, China imported 41.81 million tons of crude oil from the UAE. The UAE has also been China's largest export market and second-largest trading partner in the Middle East for several years. In 2023, bilateral trade between China and the UAE reached $94.98 billion, with China's exports to the UAE amounting to $55.69 billion and imports totaling $39.29 billion. China primarily exports electromechanical products, high-tech products, and textiles and garments, while importing crude oil and petrochemical products from the UAE.

As economic ties between the two countries strengthen, China's investment in the UAE grew by more than 16% in 2023, reaching $1.3 billion. Chinese Ambassador to the UAE Zhang Yiming stated at the China-UAE Entrepreneurs Summit in Abu Dhabi that this amount accounts for 60% of Asian countries' total investment in Arab countries. Ambassador Zhang also noted that UAE investment in China increased by 120% last year, accounting for 90% of Arab countries' investment in China.