UAE President Conducts Two-Day Visit to China

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Visits Beijing 

  • On May 29, United Arab Emirates (UAE) President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan arrived in Beijing, China for a two-day visit aimed at advancing sustainable development and expanding collaboration over security, economics, development, and culture.
    • The visit came at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
    • The two leaders evaluated opportunities to expand the countries’ existing Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
  • On May 30, a ceremony was held “to announce, exchange, and sign several agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs)” between the UAE and China. These included, but were not limited to: 
    • Joint formulation of the cooperation plan on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
    • Establishing the China-UAE high-level Investment Cooperation Committee
    • Cooperation between the UAE Media Council and the National Radio and Television Administration of China
    • China-UAE Inter-governmental Cooperation Agreement on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
    • Cooperation in the field of industries and technologies

Defense Cooperation and Coordination

  • Following the engagement, China and the UAE released a joint statement expressing mutual “appreciation for cooperation and joint coordination in the defense, military and security fields, enhancing mutual visits and participating in training, exhibitions and official events between the two countries.”
    • The parties also “stress[ed] their keenness to exchange experiences in order to raise the efficiency of military employees and security institutions in the two friendly countries.”
  • This statement expands upon a growing defense relationship.
    • In August 2023, China hosted the UAE military to conduct air force drills in Xinjiang, including joint training sessions dubbed “Falcon Shield 2023.”
    • In February 2022, UAE had agreed to purchase 12 light attack L-15 planes from China, diversifying its predominantly American- and French-made fleet.

The Broader UAE-China Relationship

  • Sheikh Mohamed’s visit commemorated the 40-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two states.
  • The countries’ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has coincided with the signing of over 148 bilateral cross-sector agreements and MoUs. 
  • In 2023, the UAE’s non-oil trade with China reached $81 billion, a 4.2 percent increase over the previous year. 
    • As the UAE’s top non-oil trade partner, China accounts for 12 percent of its trade.
  • The UAE is a partner in China’s BRI, which was launched in 2013.



(Banner image: Xinhua)

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