ABU DHABI, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here today for a three-day state visit, with his wife Mrs. Peng Liyuan.

He was received on arrival at the Presidential Flight, Abu Dhabi, by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Jinping was accorded an official reception ceremony at the airport where the Chinese national anthem was played and 21 artillery rounds fired to greet the Chinese president. A group of honour guards lined up in reception to greet the distinguished guest.

The Chinese president shook hands with the Sheikhs, ministers and senior officials who welcomed him to the UAE. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan shook hands with members of the Chinese delegation that included ministers and other top officials.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed the state guest, expressing their happiness at his visit and hoped that it would help establish a new phase of cooperation and joint action to meet the aspirations of the two countries and their friendly peoples.

The two sides exchanged cordial talks on the historically strong ties between the two countries which have witnessed continuous growth and development over the years.

Their Highnesses also highlighted the important political and economic role played by China regionally and internationally. ''The level of understanding, coordination and consultation achieved by China and the UAE has boosted security, peace and development in the region and beyond,'' they said.

For his part, the Chinese president expressed his delight at visiting the UAE, with whom China has had friendly relations and shares a common vision. Jinping wished the UAE further growth, progress and prosperity.

The high-profile state guest was received upon arrival by Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC); H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs;H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation;H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan;H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the department of Transport; Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Director of The Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future; Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Minister of the Federal Supreme Council Affairs; Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State; Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State; Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council;Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA);Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Undersecretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi; Jaber Mohammed Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court; Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of the UAE to the People's Republic of China; and Lieutenant General, Isa Saif bin Ablan Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.

The accompanying Chinese delegation included: Ding Xuexiang, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC), Member of the Secretariat of the CCCPC and Director of General Office of the CCCPC; Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CCCPC and Director of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs; Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA); He Lifeng, Vice Chairman of CPPCC, Minister of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce (MOFCOM); Ni Jian, Chinese Ambassador to UAE; Wang Xiaotao, Director of China International Development Cooperation Agency; Qin Gang, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director-General of Protocol Department, MFA; Chen Xiaodong, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Lv Luhua, Secretary to President XI Jinping, as well as other senior Chinese officials.

The UAE celebrated the arrival of the Chinese President in a special ceremony, with 12 F-16s and Mirage aircraft escorting his presidential plane after it entered the country's airspace. Abu Dhabi's sky was illuminated with fireworks to celebrate Jinping's arrival, and flags belonging to both countries marked the state visit.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said Jinping's visit to the UAE marked a new stage in the strategic partnership that had bound the two countries for decades, thanks to a solid foundation built on shared interest and mutual understanding and respect.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: "We are delighted to welcome His Excellency President Xi Jinping to the UAE on this important visit, which we view as a basis for further prosperous cooperation between the two friendly countries. We appreciate the President's choosing to visit the UAE on his first foreign tour after his recent re-election for a new presidential term, which reflects the weight of our strategic partnership and underscores the depth of the ties between the two sides."

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid commended the strong economic relations and trade exchanges between the two countries. He said UAE's trade with China accounted for about a quarter of the total Chinese-Arab trade volume in 2017 which reached AED170 billion. The Vice-President noted that more than one million Chinese visited the UAE during the past year alone. He added that economic cooperation had expanded to include many sectors such as oil, renewable energy, infrastructure and advanced technology, with the UAE-China partnerships valued at tens of billions of dirhams.

The Vice-President said: "We seek to establish cultural, humanitarian and people-to-people relations in addition to our strong economic and political relations."

H.H. praised UAE and China's shared outlook on many regional and international issues, in light of the strategic relationship that the UAE has enjoyed with China for decades, being the first GCC country to establish ties with it. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid expressed his confidence that Jinping's historic visit to the UAE would provide strong impetus to relations between the two countries, taking them to even higher levels of coordination and cooperation.

For his part, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the cooperation between UAE and China is proceeding according to the highest levels. He said efforts are focusing on opening new horizons of coordination and integration, given that the two countries share a common vision that economic and social development is a solid foundation for deepening peace, security, stability, and prosperity as well as eliminating extremism and terrorism. His Highness said that both nations looked forward to long-term development and growth, in keeping with the culture of achievement and joint action that they believe is one of the key drivers for building a promising future for both peoples and countries.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his appreciation for Jinping's interest in the development of UAE-China relations and his choice of UAE as the first country to visit since his re-election as President. He said the UAE leadership, headed by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, shared the same interest in strengthening relations with China and transforming the existing strategic partnership into a comprehensive strategic partnership that promised steady growth of UAE-China relations.

H.H. said the most important feature of UAE-China relations was that it was not just limited to political and economic issues, but extends to cultural, social and educational aspects that build bridges of understanding and establish people-to-people links. This ensures that UAE-China relations are strong and diverse and continue to grow steadily.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his confidence that Jinping's visit would help transform UAE-China relations in every aspect, given that both countries were keen to expand and develop relations at all levels.

Source: Emirates News Agency