In an exclusive interview with China's state TV broadcaster China Central Television, CCTV, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, applauded the strong relations that the UAE and the People's Republic of China have built since establishing diplomatic ties in 1984.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed praised China's rapid growth in the construction, education and technology sectors, which offers an example for others. His Highness had predicted the rise of Chinese global influence a decade ago and had observed that the balance of power is shifting east.
During the interview, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said he holds the Chinese President Xi Jinping in high regard and considers him a great example for a leader.
He praised the launch of the Silk Road initiative, which is aligned with President Xi Jinping's vision for global economic cooperation.
"The Silk Road is highly important for the UAE and we have allocated $3 billion to contribute to this mega project. The Chinese President has revived the Silk Road, which connects the West with the East and vice versa," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"The UAE was the first to support the Silk Road project. We manage 77 ports around the world, and this project is important to us. Investing in it will bring benefits to everyone," he added.
Sheikh Mohammed invited the CCTV correspondent to tour the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, which is considered the largest unfenced nature reserve in the UAE. His Highness spoke of the desert and how it is an integral part of the UAE's character. "We are the sons of this desert, it is our treasure. For some, the desert is arduous and dangerous, but for us, we know it well and it has taught us valuable lessons," His Highness said.
"Dubai was once small, but the determination of its people was great. Now, we look forward to Dubai becoming the 'perfect city.' We want it to serve as a model for countries seeking to evolve. For me, the word 'impossible' doesn't exist, it was invented by the weak," he stressed.
"We have created plans for all our emirates for the next several years. We are continuing the hard work, and Dubai and the UAE will become a role model for the world, particularly in the Middle East, in education, health, technology and other fields," His Highness said.
Sheikh Mohammed noted that Dubai is the region's leading tourist destination and that most Chinese companies in the region have their headquarters in the UAE. "Most Chinese residents in the region live in the UAE. Today, the Chinese can find their visas waiting for them at our airports," His Highness added.
Talking about plans for Expo 2020 Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed said that Dubai has learned from Shanghai's organisation of the 2010 Expo, adding that China's experience is a perfect example to build on.
"We have promised the world that Expo 2020 Dubai will be the best in the world, with many surprises in store. I invite you and the people of China to visit Expo 2020 in Dubai," His Highness told the CCTV correspondent.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs