BEIJING, Mar 29 – Vice President Xi Jinping vowed on Wednesday to cement energy and trade cooperation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and boost closer bilateral strategic partnership.
Xi made the pledge in his talks with visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Great Hall of the People.
Xi said the development process of China-UAE relations shows that respect and trust serve as an important foundation for bilateral ties, while cooperation was the lasting driving force and cultural exchanges were important for bilateral relations.
China and the UAE launched a strategic partnership in January this year during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to the country. Xi said it marked a new stage of China-UAE relations.
In the current global situation, the two countries have enjoyed broad common interests and cooperation potential in developing their economies, boosting global and regional peace and development, he said.
“China appreciates the positive attitude of the UAE in strengthening ties with China, and hopes to make joint efforts with the country to promote bilateral friendly cooperation up to a new level,” Xi said.
He called on both sides to consolidate political trust, improve energy and trade cooperation and expand people-to-people exchanges.
The UAE, as an important nation of the Arab League (AL) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), had made positive contribution to boosting China’s relations with Arab and GCC member countries, Xi said.
“China always develops ties with Arab and GCC states from a strategic height and a long-term perspective, and hopes to further enhance our cooperation and speed up negotiation on a China-GCC Free Trade Area,” said the vice president.
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE supports China’s reunification cause and appreciates China’s important role in global affairs, and in particular, Middle East affairs.
Hailing the bright prospect for UAE-China ties, he said the UAE hopes to step up cooperation with China in such areas as trade, energy, education, culture and regional issues, and set UAE-China ties as a remarkable example for bilateral cooperation.
Before the talks, Xi hosted a welcome ceremony for Sheikh Mohammed’s China visit.
Sheikh Mohammed came to Beijing on Tuesday afternoon for a three-day visit. Premier Wen Jiabao and top legislator Wu Bangguo are scheduled to meet with him on Thursday, respectively.