UAE to be a ‘shining pearl along the Belt and Road’ says Chinese foreign minister
The UAE "will become a shining pearl along the Belt and Road," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Emirates News Agency, WAM in comments reported by Gulf News.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is currently in China to boost trade and political ties between the two countries.
"Chinese President Xi Jinping and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will draw a new blueprint for China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership," said Wang Yi.
China is the UAE's second-largest trading partner, with almost US$60 billion bilateral trade in 2017, which is expected to reach up to US$70 billion by 2020.
"Our relationship, having stood the test of the changing international situation, has become a good example of state-to-state relations and a front-runner in China's relations with countries in the region," Yi said.
The UAE's participation in China's ambitious ‘Belt and Road Initiative' has further deepened the bilateral partnership, the foreign minister said.
The cooperation under the Initiative "not only benefits our two countries and peoples, but also serves as a positive example and a pacesetter for Belt and Road cooperation between China and Gulf countries."
"I believe as our two countries strive for substantive, steady and high-quality development of Belt and Road cooperation, the UAE will become a shining pearl along the Belt and Road."
The UAE was China's natural partner in the initiative, he said, because of the UAE's "favourable location, rich energy and resource endowment, and peaceful and stable society, and as an economic, trade, financial and shipping hub in the Middle East and the Gulf region."