By China News Service Reporter Xiao Xin
In recent years, high-level exchanges between China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have become closer, and political and strategic mutual trust has continuously deepened, with deepened bilateral cooperation in various fields. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and the UAE share similar development paths, concepts, and goals, which together provide some reference for developing countries to explore modernization independently.
Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, explained in an exclusive interview with China News Service’s W.E. Talk how China and the UAE can find a balance through cross-cultural exchanges and cooperation in various fields to achieve win-win results, as well as cooperate more deeply with fruitful results from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to bring the UAE new momentum for its next 50-year strategy and mutual benefits for both countries.
Below are excerpts from the interview.
China News Service Reporter: In recent years, high-level exchanges between China and the UAE have become closer, and political and strategic mutual trust has continuously improved. In 2012, the UAE became the first Gulf Arab country to establish a strategic partnership with China. In 2018, China and the UAE forged a comprehensive strategic partnership. In 2019, during the state visit of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, he commented that the UAE’s foreign policy will continue to place a priority on deepening its comprehensive strategic partnership with China and that the UAE is confident about China’s development. He stressed that his country will always be China’s best strategic cooperative partner no matter how the international situation changes. Why does the UAE value China as a friend?
Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri: The UAE values China as a trusted friend as we share similar values and perspectives in key areas. During past decades, both the UAE and China have experienced rapid economic growth and social development, indeed we could say both of our countries have undergone transformations. Both our countries are strongly committed to multilateralism, peace and stability. Importantly, we both prioritise the future, being energetic with planning and implementation of a better future based upon innovation and the provision of higher qualities of life for our people. Importantly, our governments and people have common affinities, which have fostered a broad range of people-to-people contacts. These are the foundations upon which trust quickly grows and flourishes.
Accordingly, the two countries cooperate each other on issues involving our core interests and major concerns. Both sides have developed bilateral relations based on mutual respect and understanding. The UAE is committed to safeguarding regional prosperity and stability, while China is also playing an increasingly important role in international affairs. As mentioned, both countries share the same vision for the future development of the world and mankind.
This year is the 38th of establishment of diplomatic relation for UAE and China, both countries have been making great progress in exchanges across many fields such as the economy, politics, culture, science, and technology. At present, the UAE is committed to transforming from an oil-based economy to a knowledge-based innovation economy, while China is a leader globally in new energy, infrastructure, life sciences, artificial intelligence, amongst others. For all these reasons I have outlined, it is important for the UAE to develop friendly relations with China. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE in 2021, the UAE launched a very ambitious industrial strategy for the next 50 years, “Operation 300 billion”, a plan for a transformation of the manufacturing sector. The objective is no less than to reshape UAE as a world-class industrial nation. These goals have much in common with China’s 14th Five-Year Plan and China’s goals for 2035 so we should expect that there will be rich opportunities for dual cooperation.