BEIJING, 2nd December 2019,The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to the People’s Republic of China today hosted a celebration of the UAE’s 48th National Day at an elegant ballroom event in the Wanda Vista Hotel in Beijing, where a number of dignitaries were hosted featuring Chinese guests of honour, including His Excellency Zhai Jun, Special Envoy of the Chinese Government for the Middle East.
A video outlining Expo 2020 Dubai was showed to the audience, along with the Chinese Pavilion themed 'Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind - Innovation and Opportunity’, presented by Mr. Zhang Shenfeng the Deputy Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) as the audience was invited to join and bid “Hayyakum” – meaning welcome! The expo is the first to ever to be held in the Middle East and in South Asia, which will be a defining moment in the UAE’s collective future, marking a new era in prosperity stability and growth for the region.
His Excellency said in his speech: “This year saw a deepening of the ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ between our nations. In April, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai attended during Belt and Road Forum; and in July, President Xi Jinping granted the honour of a state visit to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, which has witnessed the signing of many agreements and MoUs.”
His Excellency continued, “The strong bonds between our civilisations have long-lasting foundation dating back to the ancient silk road. As precious as the UAE-China relationship, these ties are embodied in this priceless 1,400-year-old Green-Jade-carved Camel on display here today, dating back to the Tang dynasty. We are now renewing these bonds for the modern era, as we build up from USD$70 billion in UAE-China bilateral trade flows, targeting USD$100 billion by 2020 and USD$200 billion by 2030.”
His Excellency Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri’s two younger daughters Sara and Mira provided a highlight to the event, singing the Chinese traditional song ‘Jasmine Flower’ in Mandarin, alongside Chinese children from the National Children’s Center. They were accompanied by a Chinese theatre group who danced to symbolizes the growth and beauty of the Jasmine flower, to music that is considered the most important Chinese song after the national anthem.
The celebration also featured Emirati culture, including an Al Ayala traditional UAE dance, with dancers coming all the way from the UAE to participate in the National Day celebration. There were also performances from the Chinese Folk Orchestra, from the Central Conservatory of Music, who have the unique ability to play international music with traditional Chinese musical instruments, with their excellent music skills previously prompting an invite to play at the esteemed Chinese National Theatre.
The year 2019 has greatly advanced the UAE-China relationship in a number of areas. Technology advancement has seen a strong progression, for example the Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence featuring Chinese academia and Chinese businessmen upon its board – a university which will deliver great strides towards understanding and advancements in Artificial Intelligence. In sectors such as logistics, the Chinese wholesale company Yiwu will now be involved in a new 5.5 million square metres logistics station, the ‘Traders Market’, storing and shipping Chinese goods from Jebel Ali port to the rest of the world and will be close to the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
This year has also seen the United Arab Emirates celebrating The Year of Tolerance, encapsulating the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Founding Father, who believed in a successful, tolerant and progressive society for all of its stakeholders. This extends to women, who make up a third of the UAE’s Cabinet; the majority the UAE’s civil service workforce; the majority of the country’s university graduates; with the representation of women in the Federal National Council now at 50 percent.
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