The paper quoted the Chinese Ambassador to the UAE as saying, "As early as the seventh century, seaborne trade had already existed between the two countries. On November 1st, 1984, the leaders of the two countries made a historical decision to establish diplomatic relations with each other. The two countries, which had been connected by the ancient maritime Silk Road, are now joining hands for a new journey.
"As an Arab proverb goes, 'Choose the suitable partner before you start a journey'. China and the UAE are the right partners for each other with a common aspiration for development. The last 33 years since the two countries established diplomatic ties has been a period of economic miracles.
"In 2012, the UAE became the first Arab country in the Gulf region to establish a Strategic Partnership with China. Bilateral relations have been greatly improved and enriched since then. In recent years, political mutual trust has deepened, cooperation in various fields has been fruitful, and friend-ship between our two peoples has increased day by day. For many years, the UAE has been the second largest trading partner and the largest export market for China in the West Asia and North Africa region. In 2016, our bilateral trade volume reached US$40.6 billion.
"At present, the development strategy of the two countries is coordinated, with the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jin-ping which is in line with the 'Restore the Silk Road' vision announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
"Many UAE friends tell me that jointly implementing the Belt and Road Initiative could help in the development of the UAE. The UAE is a founding member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which demonstrates its keenness to be part of the venture.
"We are striving for the best in commodities trade, energy and finance, while cooperation in new fields such as clean energy and information technology is taking off. Chinese enterprises are actively involved in the construction of airports, ports, roads and telecommunications in the UAE. The UAE-China Joint Investment Fund worth $10 billion is well managed and has been a highlight for the deepening of pragmatic cooperation between the two countries. The central banks of the two countries have renewed their local currency swap agreement and are working to establish the RMB Clearing Centre in the UAE. The four major national banks of China have all set up branches here.
"As an important transportation hub and financial centre in the region, the UAE plays an active role in promoting cooperation between China and the Middle East as well as the Gulf region. "The fire burns high when everybody adds wood to it." The smooth progress of the Belt and Road Initiative calls for wisdom and resolve. I believe the cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative will not only have a profound impact on the China-UAE Strategic Partnership, but also become the main theme of pragmatic cooperation between the two countries.
"China will host the High Level Dialogue of Belt and Road Forum for Inter-national Cooperation in Beijing later this month. The UAE will send key officials to attend this forum. In the context of jointly fulfilling the Belt and Road Initiative, China-UAE relations will embrace a golden period for development. I firmly believe that with the support of the leaders from both countries, and with concerted efforts of people from all walks of life, the China-UAE Strategic Partnership will open a new chapter in history, and the people of the two countries will undoubtedly realise their dream of common development."