Chinese President’s visit to UAE proves the growing interest of China in Middle East as the leaders from both the nations inked as many as 13 agreements including financial, business and trade. The visit marks the first visit by any Chinese leader to UAE in last 29 years. Xi met two top-most leaders of the Gulf State i.e. the ruler of Dubai-Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi-Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Both the nations announced signing of 13 agreements and MoUs which included setting up of first ever shop owned by Chinese state-owned financial services in the Global Market of Abu Dhabi. In addition to this a centre for finances, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the National Petroleum Corporation of China signed an agreement for exploring new avenues and business opportunities.
UAE is also vital to the China’s Belt and Road initiative for investment in infrastructure which will link China both by sea and land to markets of Asia and Europe.
China is the second largest trading partner of UAE in addition to it being the biggest source of imports. UAE also forms a gate for 60 percent of China’s exports to Middle-East. The economic minister of UAE has stated that the total bilateral trade between two nations will touch $58 billion in 2018.
China has traditionally had insignificant role in the conflicts and diplomacy in Middle East until President Xi took charge.