China the major stop in UAE's pivot to Asia

China the major stop in UAEs pivot to Asia
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme commander of the uAE Armed Forces, visits The Great Wall of china at Badaling during an official state visit on Sunday.

The right choices for the UAE to make while interacting with China would be to invest in the Asia Pacific and Asean.

Published: Sun 13 Dec 2015, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 14 Dec 2015, 1:43 PM

The UAE has a vision for the East which is now the centre of global growth. The economic shift from the West is evident as the country looks for stable and reliable partners in Asia. The UAE's pivot to Asia also shows the maturing of the UAE's foreign policy to include other powers like China and India. China is an emerging power, and with India, is set to drive the world economy. Ties with China have thrived on the back of trade and business and it is now time to take it to a new level where strategic interests converge.
Read: Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed visits Great Wall of China
The UAE's ties with China are not only time-tested but also dynamic which has adapted with the realities of a changing geopolitics. This was evident as His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, begun his three day visit to China. He rightly underscored that relations are based on strong foundations of "friendship, mutual understanding, respect and common interests". The major focus will be on promoting cooperation in the fields of technology, energy and trade. The UAE is already China's largest trading partner in the Middle East, and bilateral trade is more than US$54 billion. This makes China the UAE's second-largest trade partner in the world, and the volume is expected to surpass $60 billion this year.
Read here:Post-oil future means close ties with China: Mohammed bin Zayed
That is not an end in itself, as annual growth activity in trade and commerce between the two countries is a staggering 14 per cent. That is why analysts call the UAE's visionary policies with China a strategic asset, as the Gulf country looks East. The Asian giant and the Middle East's economic power share a common vision for innovation and enterprise.
The fact is that the UAE and China have many common interests, and one of them is to take their respective nations towards economic glory. There are shared interests in state-of-art development and empowerment of people. Both the countries are signatory to 36 mega-agreements and are set to extend cooperation to other fields.
Read here: UAE University plans to establish joint university in Chuan City
Big-ticket plans are to create a joint sovereign fund for renewable energy projects, while deepening cooperation in the socio-cultural realm. The UAE is home to more than 200,000 Chinese citizens who are driving the nations's growth, primarily in the fields of energy, construction and planning. That figure is bound to rise in future as the UAE is recognised as the hub for trade, travel and investment.
While China has a long-term policy to invest and become a major geo-economic stakeholder in Asia and Africa, the UAE serves as the gateway to its future horizons. That impression corresponds with Beijing recognising the UAE as one of the key partners in the region it can do business with.
Also Read: UAE-China cooperation must for progress, peace
At the same time, the UAE's thrust towards building a non-oil based economy corresponds with Chinese interests, which has become a leading player in technology by stressing on nuclear, wind and solar-powered projects. Oil makes up 80 per cent of UAE exports to China. This is set to remain as China emerges as the world's next superpower.
The right choices for the UAE to make while interacting with China would be to invest in the Asia Pacific and Asean, where the Chinese have huge interests in communication, infrastructure and information technology. This commonality of interests is what makes them indispensable partners.

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