On January 17, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Vice President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum in Dubai.
China and the UAE have witnessed great progress in bilateral relations since they established diplomatic ties in 1984, Wen said. UAE has become China's second largest trading partner in the Arab world. China and the UAE have treated each other with respect and trust, and have been confident in each other's development, the Chinese premier said. The decision to establish a strategic partnership between the two nations is in line with the fundamental interests of both sides and will create a broader prospect for them in the expansion of bilateral cooperation in various areas, Wen said.
Wen said that China is willing to expand cooperation with the UAE in trade and exploration of oil and gas as well as in the field of developing new energy resources, with the aim to establish a long-term, stable and comprehensive energy partnership between the two sides. The Chinese government encourages Chinese businesses to further participate in UAE infrastructure construction of transportation, telecommunications and electricity, Wen said. China is ready to carry out economic and trade exchanges with countries in the region by making use of UAE's convenient geographic and business conditions. Wen also said the two sides should step up their joint efforts to crack down on cross-border crimes and safeguard the safety and social stability of the two nations.
A peaceful and stable Gulf region is of great significance to the world, Wen noted, adding that China highly values its ties with Gulf region nations and recognizes the UAE's influence in regional affairs. He said China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the UAE on major issues.
For his part, Mohammed echoed Wen's comments and proposals on the bilateral relations, saying that cooperation between the two sides has greatly boosted the economic development in the UAE and Dubai, and brought closer the links between the two peoples. Mohammed said Chinese companies are very much welcomed to expand their investment in the UAE, adding the UAE is willing to serve as a bridge for China and the Gulf region to enhance exchanges.
After their talks, the two leaders signed a joint statement on establishing strategic partnership and witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation agreements.