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UAE China Relations

The diplomatic relation between the UAE and China was established in November 1984. The Chinese Embassy in Abu Dhabi was opened in April 1985, and the General Consulate was established in Dubai in November 1988. The UAE Embassy was opened in Beijing on March 19, 1987. Three general consulates of the UAE were established in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai, in April 2000, July 2009 and June 2016 respectively.

The historic visit of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the UAE (may God rest his soul) to the People's Republic of China on May 6, 1990, is considered as one of the most important visits of the UAE high officials to China, which resulted in signing of many agreements. There are many official visits being exchanged between the two countries, at different levels, starting from presidents, heads of government, ministers, governors and heads of parliaments. The most prominent high official visit is the recent visit by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to China in 2019, during which the two sides celebrated the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai also visited China in the same year to attend the Belt & Road Forum.

From the Chinese side, the visit of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in 2004, to the UAE is considered as one of important visits by Chinese leaders to the UAE, during which the declaration of the strategic partnership between the two countries was signed. The most recent visit is the historic visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UAE in 2018, during which the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries was signed, which is considered as a highest level in the Chinese diplomatic relations.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and the People's Republic of China, the volume of non-oil trade has nearly doubled, which is estimated at 58 billion USD in 2018, and the trade between the two friendly countries is expected to reach 200 billion USD by 2030. The UAE is the largest incubator for Chinese businesses in the Arab world, with 6,591 Chinese brands registered in the UAE, more than 327 trade agencies and cooperation between the two countries in many areas including: energy, logistics, finance, agriculture, technology and artificial intelligence, tourism, space and satellites, manufacturing.

The UAE is China's largest partner in the Arab region, with about 60% of Chinese trade being re-exported through UAE ports to more than 400 cities in the Middle East and North Africa, making it one of china's most important strategic trade destination. The UAE plays a pivotal role in the Belt and Road Initiative for International Cooperation launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, due to the competitive business environment, infrastructure and geographical location that has enhanced the cooperation between the two countries. In 2018, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates has exceeded 1 million tourists, and expected to receive 2 million Chinese visitors by 2023.

In 2013, relations between the People's Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued to maintain the momentum of sound growth, and mutually beneficial cooperation further deepened across the board. The two countries carried out close exchanges at all levels and in various areas. In March, President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al- Nahyan sent messages of congratulation respectively to President Xi Jinping on his election as the President. Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum sent a message of congratulation to Premier Li Keqiang on his election as the Premier. Speaker of Federal National Council Mohammed Ahmed Almurr visited China and had talks with NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang. In September, Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri attended the China- Arab States Expo 2013 in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. In addition, the two countries maintained sound communication and coordination in regional and international affairs.

Steady progress was made in bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, energy and finance. The UAE remained China's second largest trading partner and biggest export destination among West Asian and North African countries. China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China opened branches in the UAE.

IT was announced 29 March 2021 that a new factory in Abu Dhabi will start manufacturing Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine later in the year. The production will be under a joint venture between the Chinese pharmaceutical giant and Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 (G42). The venture is an expansion of Chinese diplomacy in the Gulf region and helps the United Arab Emirates’ quest to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon production. The new plant, which is being built in the Khalifa Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), will have a production capacity of 200 million doses a year with three filling lines and five automated packaging lines

Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to China, said 23 August 2021 that the bilateral ties between the UAE and China are witnessing a historic and special era, as the two countries are supporting each other in regional and international events. In his statement during the inauguration of the 5th China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, China, Al Dhaheri stressed that China and Arab countries share profound historic ties.

He also expressed his wishes for the exhibition’s success in reinforcing the economic, commercial and investment relations between China and the Arab region, which witnessed their golden era during the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century, he added, noting that prosperous commercial ties between the two sides enabled the exchange of scientific knowledge in medicine, mathematics and astronomy. "Today, these relations have been re-established based on mutual respect and benefits, during what has proven to be another golden era for China and the Arab region and the greatest model of Emirati-Chinese ties," he added.

The commercial and economic relations between the two friendly countries, since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1984, have maintained a positive developmental approach and were upgraded in 2018 to a comprehensive strategic partnership during the historic visit of Xi Jinping, President of China, to the UAE, followed by 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 China the following year, he added.

The UAE was among the first countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative and is also a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Al Dhaheri said, noting the UAE accounts for 28 percent of the non-oil trade between China and Arab countries, amounting to over US$50 billion, while over 6,000 Chinese companies operate in the UAE, which participates in over 650 investment projects in China.

Al Dhaheri affirmed the UAE’s pride as a key regional logistics centre and the link between China and the Arab region, noting that over 60 percent of China’s trade with West Asia and North Africa passes through the country. "Due to the changes and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has harnessed its logistical capacities to help manufacture and distribute Chinese vaccines. We aim to deliver 18 billion doses to Arab countries and the rest of the world by the end of the year," he said. "This year, 2021, is a special year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the UAE and host Expo 2020 Dubai in October, which will host over 190 countries," he added.

He also described the international event as a new opportunity to shape a shared UAE-China vision to provide a foundation for expanding partnerships and cooperation, especially in innovation. At the end of his statement, Al Dhaheri said that Arab-Chinese ties have significantly developed over the past two decades, expressing his pride in the growing solidarity between China and Arab countries.

On February 18, 2020, the US Commerce Department published the Preliminary Determination [1] of circumvention of the China CORE Orders.[2] A summary of events that occurred since Commerce published the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. The products covered by these orders are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The US Commerce Departement determined that exports to the United States of CORE completed in the UAE from HRS and/or CRS substrate manufactured in China were circumventing the China CORE Orders.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commenced a formal investigation under Title IV, Section 421, of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA) of 2015, commonly referred to as the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA). Texarkana Aluminum, Inc. (TKA) filed an EAPA allegation on March 16, 2020, and amended the allegation on May 19, 2020. TKA filed an allegation that AA Metals, as an importer, has entered aluminum sheet through evasion of the Orders. TKA contended that AA Metals purchased aluminum sheet covered by the scope of the Orders from a Chinese producer for shipment to the United States, after being painted in the UAE. TKA argued that any painting or coating of Chinese aluminum sheet does not change the country of origin from China to the UAE.

TKA asserts that UMC is not an integrated mill, and thus, does not have the capability to produce aluminum sheet; it only has a painting operation.16 According to TKA, the UAE does not have the capacity to produce aluminum sheet because the country’s only aluminum producer, Emirates Global Aluminum, is an upstream producer of primary aluminum (i.e., aluminum ingots); it does not produce downstream semi-finished products like aluminum sheet. The U.S. Department of Commerce commenced AD/CVD [anti-dumping / countervailing duty] investigations of Chinese aluminum sheet on December 4, 2017, and in response, Chinese exports of aluminum sheet to the United States declined while imports from the UAE rose.

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Page last modified: 21-11-2021 18:54:56 ZULU