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Xi Lauds 'Close' Friendship with UAE
 

President Xi Jinping said he hopes his visit to the United Arab Emirates will upgrade bilateral relations and build a China-UAE community of a shared future in Belt and Road cooperation, benefiting people of both countries.

Xi made the remark in a signed article published by UAE media, including the English-language newspaper The National, ahead of his visit to the country scheduled for July 19, the first by a Chinese head of state in 29 years.

Xi said China and the UAE have become close friends that help and complement each other, and important partners that have always communicated and coordinated with each other on regional and international affairs since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1984.

"The past 34 years have seen a robust expansion of our economies in a development miracle occurring on both ends of the Eurasian continent. China has emerged as a strong driving force for world economic growth and the UAE has become an oasis of development for the Arab world," he wrote.

China has been the UAE's largest trading partner for several consecutive years. The UAE has become China's second-largest trading partner and largest destination for exports in the West Asia and North Africa region.

In 2017, two-way trade volume reached $40.98 billion, a year-on-year increase of 2.3 percent, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The UAE was one of the first countries to embrace the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which has gained wide support and proactive participation from the Arab world.

"A new journey needs leaders with strong resolve. A new mission needs people with strong commitment," Xi wrote.

"I look forward to working with UAE leaders to draw up a blueprint for China-UAE cooperation so as to unlock its full potential and advance China-UAE relations at a higher level and speed and build a China-UAE community of a shared future in Belt and Road cooperation."

The president also suggested that the two countries should work hand in hand as strategic, collaborative, interactive and innovative partners.

"Our two countries are geographically far apart and different in national conditions. But we are both proud to have an enterprising and creative people who never give up their dreams," he said.

"I am convinced that with the support and participation of our two peoples, we will be able to make history with our mutually beneficial cooperation," he added.

A series of important outcomes in such cooperation areas as the Belt and Road Initiative, production capacity, energy, agriculture and finance are also expected to be reached during the visit.

After visiting the UAE, Xi will make state visits to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa, attend the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg and visit Mauritius during a stopover. The trip ends on July 28.

(China Daily July 18, 2018)
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