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UAE-China Week: Celebrations kick-start on Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi

Ismail Sebugwaawo
Filed on July 18, 2018 | Last updated on July 18, 2018 at 12.21 am
The UAE-China Week began with an exhibition on Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The UAE-China Week began with an exhibition on Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The UAE enjoys fruitful cooperation with China.

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, on Tuesday inaugurated the UAE-China Week events at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. A pavilion to celebrate the UAE and Chinese culture was set up at the venue and will be the centerpiece of the UAE-China Week that runs until July 24.

"The UAE has strong cultural and economic ties with China and we are keen on promoting and upholding the important values of the two countries," said Al Kaabi during the inauguration event.

She added: "The UAE enjoys fruitful cooperation with China. We are delighted and honoured to celebrate China's rich and continued historical culture on an annual basis.

"In this UAE-China Week, we focus on understanding Chinese culture and the potential areas where we can work together - whether it's film, art, literature or other areas."

Part of the art pieces being showcased at the art and cultural exhibition pavilion is the beautiful painting that features the UAE's Qasr and Al Hosni and Chinese landmark Tiananmen Square. The artwork by Chinese artist and teacher Jack Lee and Emirati calligrapher Mohammed Mandi has Chinese words twisted in Arabic calligraphy and depicts the strong relationship between the UAE and China.

"We collaborated in creating an art piece featuring the cultural landmarks of the two countries to show the strong ties between the two nations," said Lee, who also teaches art at Abu Dhabi universities.

"Art and culture are very important aspects in life that connect nations."

UAE calligrapher Mandi said: "China has a very rich history of art and culture. And having the Chinese people here gives us the opportunity to share knowledge and skills which will boot the cultural sector of both nations." Also on display are old UAE and Chinese items including carpentry tools in the ship industry, iron tools used in grinding coffee beans, baskets made from palm fronds and used to carry different things like dates and fish, Al Sarood made from palm fronds and used as food mats, Al Dayeen - a basket used by divers to collect oysters from the sea and others. Visitors to the week-long festival at Manarat Al Saadiyat will be entertained by music sessions and traditional Chinese dances including dragon dance, along with an Arabic programme including oud playing, storytelling and henna.

Part of the Chinese performances is the 'Tea Master', where an incredible Kung Fu tea master dressed in authentic clothing and equipped with a long funneled teapot delivers a martial arts-based tea pouring show based on traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

Other Chinese shows include; the Changing Face Mask, an important aspect of Chinese Sichuan opera where the performer uses 'face changing techniques' on the stage and transform it into a special art with stunning skills.

In the Kung Fu Show, martial arts performers will amaze audiences with their expert precision, professional choreography and incredible acrobatic skill, showcasing a range of traditional wushu styles.

Ties deep-rooted, strategic: Minister

China is one of the most influential players in international relations, not only in the political and economic arenas, but also in many other spheres, a UAE minister has said.

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC), said relations between the UAE and China witnessed a substantial leap following the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Beijing in December 2015.

"Our relationship with China is a long-term strategic one that encompasses a multitude of aspects; political, economic, cultural, social, tourism, among others," he added. "The UAE-China relationship is rooted in the principles of mutual respect, constructive dialogue and meaningful cooperation to achieve their common interests in a variety of sectors."

The NMC chairman added: "This will be the first foreign visit by the Chinese president following his re-election," he said, adding "and it confirms the important status the UAE has attained thanks to the vision of its wise leadership.

"The visit will contribute greatly to strengthening the strategic relations between the UAE and China, with the leadership of the two friendly countries having a common view on basic topics - The most important of which is that economic and social development is the basis for achieving security and stability in the region and the world. The leadership of the UAE and China are committed to working towards security, peace, stability and progress for humanity as a whole."

Ensuring stability in the region top priority for both countries

A strong partnership between the UAE and China is needed for stability in the region, top envoys said during an event to mark the UAE-China Week in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Ahead of the state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research held a symposium titled 'Prospects for UAE-China Relations'.

And in his address, Ambassador of the UAE to China Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri said there was a 'political movement' between the two countries.

"We are very hopeful about the prospects. President Xi's visit is a reflection of the strength of the bilateral relationship. It isn't strange that both countries share many common values and visions, and collaborate in many aspects. Our relationship has reached to an unprecedented level. We have witnessed lot of development in all aspects. We have become strategic partners. Our leaders have vision to have a strong relationship."

Al Dhaheri noted both the countries are 'very concerned' about stability in the Middle East and needed to 'strengthen partnership' to tackle their challenges.

"This relationship plays a pivotal role in ensuring stability in the region. The success achieved in all aspects has made both the countries important geopolitically, be it globally or locally. Hence enhancing this relationship is very crucial for both the countries. This will help both to face challenges they face."

United against terrorism

Al Dhaheri said both the countries must unite to combat terrorism and find peaceful solutions to political issues. "Both the countries have potential for collaborations on political issues like combating terrorism and stabilising the region. We have shared values and same core ideas on foreign policy.

We work in fighting extremism, which leads to terrorism and have negative impact on society and economy," he said and added that the past state visits have not only helped form political understanding on global and regional issue but also boosted bilateral relationship.

Al Dhaheri noted the support and instructions of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had played a key role in his success at the job.

UAE makes everyone happy

Chinese Ambassador to the UAE Ni Jian said the diplomatic relations is some 34 years old and developed 'tremendously' over the years. "Until now the UAE enjoys deepest, broadest and most fruitful of relations with China among the Arab countries," he said.

Ni Jian has completed one-and-a-half-year in his term and has 'some deep impressions' about the UAE.

"This is not just a big country but a great country. The founder of this country was full of far-sighted will, wisdom, talent and amazing ideas. The UAE is now very prosperous, happy, technically advanced and full of innovation."

He said the UAE is a 'very stable' country in the region.

"When you look around at neighbouring countries, the situation is very serious. There are so many terrorist attacks and turbulence. But when you stay in the UAE, you can feel how peaceful and stable the country is. This country makes all the people, no matter locals or foreigners feel stable and happy," Ni Jian added.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

 





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