Chinese President Xi meets with UAE rulers in Abu Dhabi

World Today

Prince of Abu Dhabi, left, gestures to Chinese President Xi JinpingSheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, left, gestures to Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, with Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, second left after reviewing the Guard of Honour, at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday, July 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Malak Harb)

Clean and renewable energy, and an upgrade to bilateral relations. Those were just some of the agreements made on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s second day in the United Arab Emirates. CGTN’s Yasser Hakim reports from Abu Dhabi.

President Xi Jinping was received by the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, ruler of Dubai and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

The preparations leading to the visit were unconventional — a China themed week that included a book fair, a Chinese film festival and opera performance and, in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa was lit up with the famous red and yellow.

The visit by the Chinese President is viewed as a major stepping stone for the economic and political relations. It comes a few days after the China and Arab States Forum in Beijing, where China pledged $20 billion of loans to Arab states.

But for the two nations, it is more about mutual investments in several sectors

“The two countries set up an investment fund of $10 billion,” said Hongbin Cong, Advisor at New Silk Road Investment Corp. “Before the visit, the Crown Prince was in Beijing. Dozens of agreements were signed in infrastructure, energy, transportation, currency, finance, across the spectrum along the Belt and Road initiative. The UAE is a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.”

On the day of President Xi’s arrival, Emirates’ Adnoc and China’s CNPC signed a $1.6 billion seismic survey gas and oil exploration project.

“I think it’s a breakthrough. China has been buying oil and chemicals from this region for many many years and never got its hands on oil exploration,” Cong said. “A good thing of course.”

Bilateral trade is currently valued at $53 billion, while investments are valued at $10 billion. Officials from both sides agreed that there’s potential for more.

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