His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, returned home on Thursday after an official visit to China.
Sheikh Mohammed was received at Dubai International Airport by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Foundation for Events Management and Organisation, Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Board of Culture and Arts Authority in Dubai, and a number of senior officials.
Upon his departure from Beijing, Sheikh Mohammed sent a letter of thanks to Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-President Wen Jinping, for their warm welcome and hospitality.
Described as historic and highly significant, Sheikh Mohammed’s four-day visit was marked by a flurry of high-profile diplomatic activity, including meetings with Jintao, Jinping and Jiabao.
The UAE and Chinese sides agreed that this visit would add new impetus to Sino-UAE ties.
Welcoming Sheikh Mohammed, Jintao expressed the hope that his visit to China would further boost the relations of friendship and co-operation that the UAE and China enjoy.
The Chinese president described Sheikh Mohammed as “an old friend of the Chinese leadership and people”.
He said Sheikh Mohammed played a major role in boosting bilateral ties between the two countries.
Sheikh Mohammed said it was a great honour for him to be in Beijing to meet the Chinese president and to have first hand information about the great Chinese society, adding that the UAE leadership and people had great respect for their Chinese counterparts.
Sheikh Mohammed termed the volume of trade exchange between the UAE and China as “outstanding, historical and vibrant”.
The importance of Sino-UAE relations was further echoed in meetings that brought together Sheikh Mohammed and Jinping, who expressed confidence that Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to China would add fresh momentum to the historical ties between the two countries.
Jiabao also underlined the importance of the visit, noting that Sheikh Mohammed was a familiar figure with whom he had a memorable meeting during the World Economic Forum in China last year.
With the UAE’s trade with China recording a growth of 40 per cent in recent years, the Asian economic giant is now the largest trade partner of the UAE. This was the reason behind Sheikh Mohammed’s delegation signing a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding with China. (Wam)
Sheikh Mohammed cements Sino-UAE ties