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China, UAE discuss strengthening bilateral ties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, clad in white, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, third left, arrive at the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on July 20, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have discussed strengthening bilateral ties during a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and top UAE officials on the second day of his visit to Abu Dhabi.

The Chinese president, who arrived in Abu Dhabi for a three-day visit on Thursday, held talks with the UAE's Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashed Al Maktoum and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Friday.

They discussed "strengthening strategic bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest with the Chinese president," the crown prince said in a posting on Twitter.

Xi’s visit comes against the backdrop of oil and trade accords between the two countries.

On Thursday, state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said it had awarded two contracts worth $1.6 billion (1.4 billion euros) to an affiliate of China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) for a seismic survey in the emirate. CNPC subsidiary BGP Inc. will conduct surveys of 30,000 square kilometers offshore and 23,000 square kilometers onshore to search for oil and gas.

The UAE's state-owned DP World signed an agreement with a Chinese commodities trading company to build a new trade zone in Dubai. The move is in line with the Asian giant’s "One Belt, One Road" infrastructure initiative, a project aiming to build a modern-day “Silk Road” at a cost of $1 trillion.

In a further sign of strengthening ties between the two countries, Emaar Properties, Dubai's top listed developer, on Wednesday announced plans to build the Middle East's largest Chinatown in the UAE.

After the UAE, the Chinese president will also pay a visit to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa.


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