Xi: Nations are natural partners for building the Belt and Road
President Xi Jinping called on Friday for joint efforts with the United Arab Emirates to plan and carry out the flagship projects of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote the economic development of the Middle East and the Gulf region.
After Xi's talks with UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the two countries agreed to build the China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership and enhance cooperation in all areas.
Xi is paying a state visit to the UAE from Thursday to Saturday, the first by a Chinese head of state in 29 years to the Arab state.
The grand and warm reception has fully demonstrated the friendship of the UAE to the Chinese people and the country's great attention to Sino-UAE relations, Xi said.
The crown prince hosted a grand ceremony to welcome Xi at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi on Friday morning. On Thursday, the UAE's vice-president hosted a welcoming ceremony for the Chinese president at the airport.
Noting that he had reached important consensuses with the crown prince in Beijing in December 2015, Xi said the bilateral relationship had since developed in a comprehensive, fast and deep way.
There is great potential and a bright future for the cooperation between China and the UAE, Xi said, adding that the building of the China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership will deepen strategic mutual trust and improve mutually beneficial cooperation.
Xi said he believed that the two countries could become good friends and partners that learn from each other and help each other to achieve common development.
Xi extended his sincere greetings to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and wished that he will recover soon.
Xi stressed that the two countries should strengthen their political trust, continue to support each other's core interests and major concerns, and support each other's development on the path that fits each country's situation.
China and the UAE are natural cooperative partners for jointly building the Belt and Road, Xi said, adding that China deems the UAE an important supporter of the Belt and Road.
He said the two countries should boost connection of development strategies and enhance communications on industrial policies.
China would like to build a comprehensive system for energy cooperation with the UAE, deepen investment and financial cooperation and expand innovative cooperation, Xi said.
The two countries should enhance security cooperation and oppose all forms of terrorism, he added.
China supports the project of "youth ambassadors" visiting China, which was launched by the crown prince, and appreciates the "embracing China" projects initiated by the vice-president, Xi said while stressing the importance of people-to-people exchanges.
China would like to deepen strategic cooperation with the UAE, explore ways to promote peace through development in the Middle East, resolve hot issues through political channels, and jointly promote the safety and stability of the Middle East region, Xi said.
The UAE's vice-president said the UAE admires China's developmental achievements and appreciates the opening-up strategy upheld by China. Xi's visit is believed to bring the UAE-China relationship to a higher level, he said.
The UAE's crown prince spoke highly of Xi's visionary thoughts on governance, saying China will definitely make more contributions to global peace and mankind's progress. The UAE firmly supports the one-China principle, he said.
After the talks, the two countries signed a joint declaration on the building of a comprehensive strategic partnership. The leaders of both sides witnessed the signing of cooperation documents.
The crown prince presented the Order of Zayed to Xi. The crown prince also sent Xi an Arabian horse as a gift. Arabian horses are among the most valuable in the world, and it is the UAE royal family's special arrangement as well as an extremely high honor to send an Arabian horse to their distinguished guests.