Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi eyes UAE for energy, rail projects

Belt and Road Initiative will spur greater collaboration, minister says during HH Sheikh Mohamed's state visit to China

HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport.
Rashed Al Mansoori / Ministry of Presidential Affairs
HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said on the sidelines of a state visit to China by HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, that the Asian superpower behind the multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative was seeking future cooperation with the UAE in areas such as energy, artificial intelligence (AI), and high-speed railway.

Speaking to UAE state news agency, Wam, Yi said that China – the UAE’s second-largest trading partner with expected bilateral trade of $70bn by 2020 – expected the Emirates to “become a shining pearl along the Belt and Road”.

Citing the UAE’s “favourable location, rich energy and resource endowment, and peaceful and stable society” as factors that made the country China’s “natural partner” in Belt and Road Initiative, Yi said the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding signed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UAE in 2018 had taken the collaboration “to a new stage”, according to the report.

Commenting on China’s ongoing and future investment plans in the UAE, Yi said: “The China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone is being built [in Kizad]; the whole-industrial chain cooperation in oil and gas is producing substantial results; the Khalifa Port Container Terminal Two in Abu Dhabi – a joint China-UAE project – is up and running, and the Hassyan Clean Coal Power Plant is under construction [in Dubai].

“Looking ahead, it is important for the two sides to continue working on the existing projects and move towards a pattern of cooperation with energy as the centrepiece, and investment and infrastructure development as the two priority areas.

“It is also important for us to break new ground by expanding cooperation in AI, 5G, aerospace, high-speed railway, and other high-tech areas.

“We are convinced that with the personal commitment and strategic guidance of our two leaders, China-UAE relations will see greater development at a higher level and in broader areas.”

HH Sheikh Mohamed arrived in Beijing on 21 July for his official state visit to China, which comes at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

Upon his arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince was met with a traditional Chinese welcome ceremony.

HH Sheikh Mohamed is accompanied on his trip by HH Lt Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; HH Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; and Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports.

Also accompanying Sheikh Mohamed are Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry; Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education; Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority; Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince's Court of Abu Dhabi; Dr Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of the UAE to China; and several other senior officials, according to a separate Wam report. 

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