The People’s Republic of China has announced that it will exempt UAE nationals carrying ordinary passports from obtaining pre-entry visas, with the possibility of staying for up to 30 days on each visit.
The exemption came as a result of an MoU which was signed recently in Abu Dhabi by Ahmed Saeed Elham Al Dhaheri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Ni Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the UAE.
Al Dhaheri said that the move by the Chinese Government reflects the stature attained by the UAE and contributes to strengthening bilateral relations and opening new avenues for growing tourism and trade between the two friendly countries.
“The UAE has become a model for good governance, moderation and peaceful co-existence and a symbol for achievement and excellence at the international levels,” he said.
He also noted that the welfare of the UAE citizens features as a priority in the wise leadership’s vision.
The UAE and China established diplomatic relations in November 1984. The UAE opened its embassy in Beijing on 19th March, 1987. It also opened consulates in Hong Kong on April 2000, Shanghai on 6th July, 2006, and in Guangzhou on 13th June, 2016.
China opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi in April 1985 and its consulate in Dubai in November 1988.
The UAE and China are connected by strong and developing economic and commercial relations, and the size of their commercial exchange in the first half of 2017 reached around US$20.25 billion, with $13.97 billion accounting for China’s exports to UAE while $7.871 billion accounted for the value of imports from the UAE.
Regarding aviation, which is a key pillar to the economic and commercial co-operation between the two countries, the number of direct weekly flights by UAE national carries to China is currently around 60.
There is no doubt that this developing economic and commercial co-operation was achieved in an appropriate economic and investment-friendly environment, whose foundations were established and strengthened by the leaders of both countries over many years.
These relations were also reinforced by consecutive visits by both sides. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited Beijing in December 2015, which was followed by another visit in May 2017 by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The same month also saw the visits of Mohammed bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, and Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State.
Sun Chunlan, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China visited the UAE in April 2017. Her visit was preceded by those of Ming Xian Guo, Secretary-General of the Legal Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in November 2016, Chao Lee Ji, Chairman of the Organisation Department in the Communist Party of China, in May 2015, Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in February 2015, and Gong Xiaosheng, Special Envoy to the Middle East, in November 2014.
The governments of the UAE and China reached a series of agreements that established legal and legislative frameworks and determined the foundations of managing their co-operation. They also signed an agreement on avoiding double taxation and encouraging investments, as well as another in the area of aviation. Several joint co-operation committees between the two countries helped to promote investment and joint co-operation, and the latest meeting of these committees was held on 2nd May, 2017.