By Sam Bridge
Dubai ruler praises strong relations between the UAE and China in TV interview with China Central Television
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has applauded the strong relations that the UAE and China have built in an interview with China’s state TV broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).
Sheikh Mohammed praised China’s rapid growth in the construction, education and technology sectors, adding that he predicted the rise of Chinese global influence a decade ago.
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 also praised the launch of the Silk Road initiative, which is aligned with 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 noted 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,” he added.
Talking about plans for Expo 2020 Dubai, he 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,” he told the CCTV correspondent.
In the interview, Sheikh Mohammed also talked about his vision for Dubai, saying: “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 added: “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.”