Sheikh Mohammed meets Chinese premier


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, held talks yesterday with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in the Chinese capital Beijing.

At the meeting, Jiabao welcomed Sheikh Mohammed, describing him as a familiar figure with whom he had a memorable audience at the World Economic Forum in China last year.

The Chinese premier wished for the success of Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to China, adding that his visit would help to cement bilateral co-operation.

Sheikh Mohammed expressed the UAE’s keenness to bolster trade and co-operation with China.

He added that China was now the largest trading partner of the UAE and said trade between the two countries had grown by 40 per cent in recent years.

After the talks, Jiabao attended the signing of a number of bilateral agreements, among which was an agreement for mutual legal assistance on criminal issues signed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, and his Chinese counterpart.

Meanwhile, Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping yesterday expressed confidence that the ongoing state visit of the UAE’s Prime Minister to China – the first official visit in history – would add fresh momentum to mutual co-operation and further improve the historical relations between the two countries.

Jinping was speaking at a meeting yesterday in Beijing with Sheikh Mohammed.

Sheikh Mohammed said that his visit to China would help promote economic, trade, technological, tourism and cultural co-operation and strengthen existing relations between the UAE and China.

Also present at the meeting, which took place at The Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital, were Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports Authority and President of the Emirates Group, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State, and other members of the delegation accompanying Sheikh Mohammed on his historic China visit.

Later Sheikh Mohammed left the Chinese capital for the UAE.