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UAE ambassador reflects on Government Work Report, China's future | Updated: 2021-03-06 08:49
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Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to China. [Photo provided to]

Q: In terms of the Government Work Report, what impressed you most?

A: The report highlighted China's initiatives to lead the path of post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as its determination to advance reform and opening-up. It is impressive that China has achieved positive GDP growth of 2.3 percent in 2020, and aims for 6 percent of GDP growth this year. With a specialized focus on expanding domestic demand, I believe foreign investment and export-oriented production will continue to prosper, opening the door for many bilateral trade exchanges between the UAE and China.

Premier Li's announcement of eradication of extreme poverty is also inspirational. China has met the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. The UAE is also committed to achieving its goals for UN 2030 ASD. The two countries can exchange experiences on achieving these goals. The government's plan to spearhead rural revitalization in 2021 marks important progress for China and its people.

Q: Which challenges, issues or problems do you think should be the first priority for the Chinese government in 2021?

A: 2021 is an important year for China to move forward with its short- and long-term goals, especially in terms of social and economic outlook in the post-COVID 19 era. The UAE's economy is also gradually recovering from the impact of COVID-19. In this regard, we have taken a series of detailed measures. China's experiences were useful to UAE in tackling the epidemic outbreak.

For this year, the Chinese government emphasized a "new development stage, new development philosophy and new pattern of development". In alignment with this blueprint, I am looking forward to learning more about the self-sufficiency of advanced technologies, the growing independence of supply chains, the expansion of domestic consumption, the implementation of dual circulation policies and China's roadmap to reaching net-zero CO2 emissions by 2060. These priorities will open up new cooperation possibilities for China's global partners.

Q: This year marks the beginning of the 14th FYP, what are your expectations for it?

A: China's 14th Five-Year Plan is important for China, as well as the rest of the world. It is remarkable to see scientific and technological innovation at the heart of China's 14th FYP. The government has also ramped up efforts to strengthen innovation-backed industrial developments. At the moment, both China's Tianwen-1 and the UAE's Hope probes are orbiting Mars. The UAE has ambitions for exploring space, and aims to launch a lunar probe in 2024. We have the Mars 2117 project, which attempts to build a city for humans on Mars. China is one of the most advanced space nations. I believe the two countries can have collaboration in the space industry. The missions successfully demonstrated our shared aspirations toward the future.

Furthermore, China's climate policy efforts have accelerated in recent years. The 14th FYP will adopt green development models to further reduce carbon emissions and help China become carbon neutral by 2060. This sets a great example in the world and facilitates global cooperation to combat climate change.

Q: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, what's your take on the CPC's achievements?

A: As a first-hand observer, I have witnessed how China successfully contained the spread of the COVID-19 virus domestically and provided timely assistance to other countries. Under organized instructions, China managed to resume production and recover from the economic disruption. This demonstrates to the world China is on the right development path with sound leadership. Under the leadership of the CPC, China has implemented efficient policies throughout the past decades, lifting its people out of poverty and transforming into the world's second-largest economy. In recent years, it has also grown as a global leader in combating climate change and addressing shared global challenges. I congratulate China and the CPC on its achievements and look forward to the ongoing improvement of Chinese people's livelihoods in areas of employment, education, public health and welfare.

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