The UAE has readily accepted to set up a “comprehensive strategic partnership” with China as Chinese President Xi Jinping finished his three-day visit to the country. The UAE is keen to develop a strong bond with Asian powerhouses – India and China and thus has agreed to enhance cooperation with Beijing in all fields. But why UAE keen to forge deep ties with Asian nations?
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China-UAE have agreed to “work towards fastening and reinforcing collaboration, promote collective expansion and prosperity, which is compatible with the common interest of both nations and their people”.
China and the UAE have already signed a series of accords and in the run-up to Presidents Xi’s visit, they agreed on vital oil and trade deals. President Xi met UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan during his visit. Abu Dhabi was the Chinese president’s first stop on a tour which now takes him to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa.
A joint statement by China and the UAE, published by WAM on Saturday, said the two nations were determined to enhance collaboration across a spectrum of areas including politics, economy, oil, gas and security. China and the UAE have also agreed on joint military training programmes.
The UAE is also on China’s “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure plan, the statement added. The ambitious trillion-dollar OBOR project intends to restore the ancient Silk Road trading routes with a global network of ports, roads and railways.
Recently, the UAE’s state-owned DP World announced an accord between the two nations to develop a new trade zone in Dubai as part of the project. A strategic collaboration framework between state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) was among the deals signed. Recently, ADNOC announced it had awarded two contracts worth $1.6 billion to BGP Inc, a subsidiary of CNPC, for a seismic survey in the emirate.
Besides India, China is the United Arab Emirates’ leading trading partner and the UAE is also one of the top 15 crude suppliers to China. But the UAE has played a divisive role in the Middle-East egion, which includes a confrontation with some of China’s allies.