Sheikh Zayed’s landmark 1990 visit to China: The Great Wall and the Great Hall
In the year 1990 on May 7th, H.H Sheikh Zayed had flown out of Abu Dhabi with a delegation that included H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. This would be his first visit to China that would be a landmark visit of 17 days, before he made the move to Japan and then to Indonesia.
At the start of the Chinese visit, H.H. Sheikh Zayed mentions, “Despite the far distance between our countries, we share several goals and interests, mainly the need to develop our countries and achieve progress and prosperity for our peoples. We sincerely hope our visit to China will help boost our ties in all fields.”
The formal relations between the two nations had been established only a few years ago although the trade between the two nations has been going on for a long time and has only seemed to increase.
Peter Hellyer, a writer and historian says that, “The visit to Beijing, the first stop of his three-nation tour, was powerful evidence of Sheikh Zayed’s recognition of the importance of building close political and economic ties with a country that was then rapidly emerging as a global power.”
“Ties with Japan were long-standing, pre-dating the formation of the UAE federation in 1971, but diplomatic relations with China had only been established in 1984 and the Chinese community in the emirates was still then very small.”
Today there are more than 200,000 Chinese expatriates that have come and resided in UAE and they now call the UAE as their second home. It is more of a home away from home. There are thousands of Chinese companies here that do great business and operations here. This has been the greatest legacy that we are seeing today and witnessing first hand of that historical 1990 trip.
“Sheikh Zayed’s historic state visit to China in 1990 represented a major step in the early development of the UAE’s diplomatic outreach to East Asia. His visit, which also included trips to Japan and Indonesia, was the first of its kind,” said Mr Hellyer.