It’s not strange that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit since his re-election will be to the United Arab Emirates. This visit is normal given the relationship between the two countries. The extent of mutual trust between the two countries’ leaderships makes this visit extremely important as it solidifies and founds the basis for a new phase of strategic relations between special political and economic partners, or rather friends, on the cultural and humanitarian levels.
It’s true that the difference in the geographic size of both countries is huge but it’s also true that the magnitude of political, economic and humanitarian agreement between them is also of great significance and makes joint work possible and rather very successful. The UAE and China are distinguished for their conciliatory and consensual policy with everyone.
In this historical visit, we’re certainly making a new and huge step into the future in our relations with China. This relation is not only based on economic interests and political understandings as there’s also a strong foundation of mutual respectMohammed Al-Hammadi
At the same time, they have a clear aim towards the future, which is building a strong state and developing competent citizens. If we look closely at China’s experience, we’d realize that it succeeded in being among superpowers in the world, and not via not interfering in other countries’ affairs or invading countries or interfering using the power of arms, but via creating friendships and through economy and scientific and technological development.
An important ally
In its plan towards the future, China is confidently and strongly advancing. It is thus obvious why countries desire to establish special political and economic ties with it. What encourages countries to do so is their feeling that China does not have political, military or ideological ambitions, as its clear aim is to strengthen its economy and solidify its status as a basic entity in the world. China has succeeded in doing so via building a strong economy based on an ancient heritage and balanced foreign policy with everyone.
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During his 2015 visit to China, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan delivered an important speech that’s recalled by everyone interested in Chinese-Emirati relations. He said: “The momentum of relations since past decades in terms of friendship, cooperation and joint interests in all fields represents a strong basis for a huge breakthrough in our relations in the future.”
And today, considering this historical visit, we’re certainly making a new and huge step into the future in our relations with China. This relation is not only based on economic interests and political understandings as there’s also a strong foundation of mutual respect and trust which has been formed via official relations over three decades and humanitarian and cultural ties that extend to hundreds of years and which the Arabs established with the Chinese.
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The upcoming visit is the culmination of joint committees’ work, meetings and visits over the past three years. Prior to that, there have been bilateral achievements on different levels, specifically since Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s visit to China in 1990. During his visit, Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, was accompanied by a high-ranking delegation that succeeded in setting strong foundations for relations between the two countries.
The UAE’s leadership and people look forward to the Chinese president’s visit, which will definitely be a huge step towards a future with positive results that will benefit both countries and their people.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al-Hammadi is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad newspaper and Executive Director of editing and publishing at the Abu Dhabi Media Company. He founded and was Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic edition of National Geographic magazine, and has held numerous positions in journalism since joining Al Ittihad in 1994. Al-Hammadi has been a columnist for more than 15 years, including writing a daily column for seven years and producing a weekly political column in Al Ittihad since 2001. He has also worked as a parliamentary editor for seven years, covering the proceedings of the Federal National Council in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to being an active participant on social networks, Al-Hammadi has an interest in new media and is currently working on a project to ease the transition from traditional to digital and smart media. Al-Hammadi has received numerous awards and is a member of a number of organizations and federations. He features regularly in broadcast media as a regional political commentator and has authored several books including Time of Ordeal (2008), The UAE Democracy (2009) and The Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood (2016). Twitter: @MEalhammadi.