BEIJING: Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to China, said the bilateral ties between the UAE and China are witnessing a historic and special era, as the two countries are supporting each other in regional and international events.

In his statement during the inauguration of the 5th China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, China, Al Dhaheri stressed that China and Arab countries share profound historic ties.

He also expressed his wishes for the exhibition’s success in reinforcing the economic, commercial and investment relations between China and the Arab region, which witnessed their golden era during the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century, he added, noting that prosperous commercial ties between the two sides enabled the exchange of scientific knowledge in medicine, mathematics and astronomy.

"Today, these relations have been re-established based on mutual respect and benefits, during what has proven to be another golden era for China and the Arab region and the greatest model of Emirati-Chinese ties," he added.

The commercial and economic relations between the two friendly countries, since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1984, have maintained a positive developmental approach and were upgraded in 2018 to a comprehensive strategic partnership during the historic visit of Xi Jinping, President of China, to the UAE, followed by the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to China the following year, he added.

The UAE was among the first countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative and is also a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Al Dhaheri said, noting the UAE accounts for 28 percent of the non-oil trade between China and Arab countries, amounting to over US$50 billion, while over 6,000 Chinese companies operate in the UAE, which participates in over 650 investment projects in China.

Al Dhaheri affirmed the UAE’s pride as a key regional logistics centre and the link between China and the Arab region, noting that over 60 percent of China’s trade with West Asia and North Africa passes through the country.

"Due to the changes and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has harnessed its logistical capacities to help manufacture and distribute Chinese vaccines. We aim to deliver 18 billion doses to Arab countries and the rest of the world by the end of the year," he said.

"This year, 2021, is a special year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the UAE and host Expo 2020 Dubai in October, which will host over 190 countries," he added.

He also described the international event as a new opportunity to shape a shared UAE-China vision to provide a foundation for expanding partnerships and cooperation, especially in innovation.

At the end of his statement, Al Dhaheri said that Arab-Chinese ties have significantly developed over the past two decades, expressing his pride in the growing solidarity between China and Arab countries.

© WAM (Emirates News Agency) 2021