On January 16, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
Wen first conveyed the cordial greetings and good wishes from President Hu Jintao and congratulated UAE on the 40th anniversary of its founding. Wen said, since the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have been developing smoothly. He said the two sides had treated each other as equals with respect and enjoyed ever deepening political mutual trust, fruitful cooperation, and closer cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The Chinese premier said further enhancing bilateral ties had been a common desire for both sides, and it was also what the new situation demanded. During the visit, both sides will issue a joint statement, announcing the establishment of strategic partnership. The move will enable the two countries to cooperate with each other in more areas and to better deal with future challenges for the benefit of both peoples, he said.
The Gulf region, as the world's major source of energy, has important strategic position, therefore maintaining stability and peace in the area was not only in the interests of the region's countries, but had important implications for the world, the premier said. Wen also said China was willing to work with the Gulf countries, including the UAE, in making unremitting efforts to promote peace and development of the region.
Khalifa asked Wen to convey his cordial greetings and good wishes to President Hu Jintao and extended warm welcome for Wen's visit on behalf of the UAE government and people. He said his country hoped to strengthen its all-around cooperation with China and Wen's visit would bring bright prospects for bilateral relations. The UAE is ready to take this opportunity to enhance cooperation in a comprehensive manner and enrich the connotations of bilateral strategic partnership. The UAE hoped regional countries could preserve stability and live in peace and security, the president said.