China seeks friendly ties with Islamic countries

China would cement friendship and cooperation with the Islamic countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, President Hu Jintao said Friday afternoon.

China and the Islamic countries have long maintained mutual respect and trust and have shown understanding and support to each other on issues concerning the core interest of the other side, Hu told visiting Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

Hu said China would like to promote dialogues and exchanges with different cultures and civilizations on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is now China’s second largest trading partner and important supplier of energy resources in the Arab world.

China and the UAE have enjoyed political trust, mutual support and reciprocal trade cooperation since they forged diplomatic ties25 years ago, said Hu, adding they have also maintained consultations on international and regional issues.

“We appreciate the UAE government for its adherence to the one-China policy, as well as its support on the Taiwan issue and the issues concerning Tibet and Xinjiang,” Hu said.

The president said the two countries were facing new opportunities for furthering relations, and China would work with the UAE to enhance cooperation to benefit the two countries and peoples.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also met with the crown prince on Friday.

Wen said common ground has increased between China and the UAE in coping with the global financial crisis, and both sides should take effective measures to expand cooperation in energy, trade, investment and financial fields.

He said China would like to actively consult with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for early consensus on signing a free trade pact.

The guest, who is making his first China tour since he became crown prince, said the UAE hoped to establish strategic cooperation with China in trade, oil and petrochemical fields.

He said the July 5 riot in Xinjiang was China’s internal affairs, and his country supported the Chinese government’s efforts to safeguard national unity, security and stability.

Friday evening, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Bin Zayedal-Nahayan witnessed the signing of several cooperative agreements including one on setting up a bilateral political consultation mechanism.

During their hour-long talks, Xi proposed to establish China-UAE strategic partnership in the energy field, and expand cooperation in trade, investment and infrastructure construction.

“China is willing to cooperate with the UAE in gas and petrol exploration and the utilization of recycling energy,” Xi said.

He urged the two countries to further consolidate political trust, boost cultural and educational cooperation and facilitate the China-GCC free trade area negotiation.

In response, Bin Zayed al-Nahayan told Xi his country firmly backed every measure China took to safeguard national stability and unity, and was ready to cement trade and energy cooperation with the country.

Xi also thanked the UAE for its firm support on issues concerning China’s core interests, and for its aid to China after the 8.0-magnitude quake last year.

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