Addressing the meeting, the Foreign Minister of China said: "Just now Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah and I Co-Chaired the first meeting of the committee on cooperation between the government of China and the government of the United Arab Emirates. Actually the inception of this committee was agreed upon by President Xi Jinping and the UAE leadership as an important step to build the China-UAE Strategic Partnership and further increase the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. I am very happy today to launch this committee we have taken an important step to follow on the leaders agreements and our first meeting was very successful."

He said the two countries reached extensive consensus on the future steps to further strengthen this strategic partnership and identified cooperation in seven key areas and the Chinese proposals have been warmly responded by the foreign minister.

"we have laid out the overall plan for the future cooperation we are determined to further strengthen our strategic and political mutual trust," he noted.

He also said China will continue to remain committed to stability and development in the Middle East as it looks at the UAE as an important strategic partner to maintain stability in the Gulf region, adding that the two countries work together to seek political settlement of regional hot-spot issues, adding that China also appreciates the continued commitment of the use to the one China policy.

"We expressed satisfaction in the upstream and lower stream oil cooperation between the two countries we are satisfied with the progress made and we stress the importance to further accelerate the oil and gas development cooperation the construction of ports and the development of port side industrial parks and also another series of important strategic programs we will further expand the areas for mutually beneficial cooperation and we will work to strengthen connectivity and the upgrade of industries so that we can provide sustained inputters to our future cooperation. We will explore cooperation in some forward looking areas for example the nuclear energy power generation, clean energy, and aviation and aerospace, we agree that there is a broad space for future cooperation and the potential is huge."

Minister Wang Yi went on to say: "We believe that it is very important to promote people-to-people and cultural exchange. as an important part of the overall relationship we will further strengthen exchanges in education and culture and between our young people we will explore more opportunities for the law enforcement and security cooperation mechanism to play a bigger role in providing facilitation's and security guarantee for our people to people exchange."

He applauded UAE's decision to grant visa free exemption for Chinese citizens holding ordinary passports, saying this will make the travel of Chinese people easier.

"Last year, about 6 hundred thousands visits were made between the two countries and I believe that with that visa policy in place, that number will increase rapidly and probably this year and next year the number will exceed 1 million."

He said that both China and the UAE support trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and advocate open and transparent regional free trade arrangements and that the two countries will further step up coordination and cooperation to conclude the substantive negotiations on China- GCC free trade area at an early date.

"Minister Sheikh Abdulla also updates me on the development of the situation in the Middle East and also he reaffirmed his commitment against terrorism and also the opposition against the radicalized thinking that is behind the spread of terrorism. I fully understand appreciate and support what he said, China stands ready to work with the UAE and other parties to participate in the international cooperation against terrorism at the same time we will step up exchange and cooperation with the UAE and other countries in the Middle East and the Gulf area to fight against the spread of the radicalized ideologies."

"All in all, we believe that the first meeting of this intergovernmental cooperation committee is very successful it has been launched i want to thank the UAE Foreign Minister and the officials that he has brought with him to China this time for their input on contribution. I believe that we can fully leverage the role of this mechanism to elevate our strategic partnership to a higher level," he concluded.

The meeting and the Committee session was attended by Mohammed Sharaf Al Hashemi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic and Commercial Affairs.

Source: Emirates News Agency