Ambassador Chang Hua gives interview to Gulf News on the occasion of Chinese New Year
2015/02/20
On February 20, Gulf News, one of the best selling English newspapers in the UAE, published the interview with Ambassador Chang Hua and a special report on the spring festival of the Chinese year of sheep. The main content of the interview is as follows: 
 
Q:  The Chinese community now has a strong presence in the UAE. What does this bode for Sino-UAE relationship?
A: Today is the Chinese Spring Festival, meaning a new year in the Chinese calender. On the occasion of this most important traditional Chinese holiday, I would like to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UAE and also in my own name, our kind regards to all overseas Chinese in the UAE. It is also my hope that our joy can be shared by friends from other countries in the UAE.
As the strategic partnership between China and the UAE continues to deepen, hundreds and thousands of Chinese are now doing business, working and studying in the UAE. Overseas Chinese in the UAE account for more than 50% of the total in the MENA region. They work tirelessly in all sectors of the UAE, making positive contributions to the promotion of Sino-UAE cooperation and people-to-people friendship. In accordance with the Chinese tradition, Spring Festival is an occasion for family reunion. As diplomats working in the UAE, we are unable to join our family members back at home. However, we can all the same feel the festive atmosphere. As an ancient Chinese saying goes, friendship between countries is built upon mutual understanding between their peoples. I am confident that the Chinese community in the UAE will make continuous efforts to enhance people-to-people exchanges so that bilateral friendship is more deeply planted in the hearts of the two peoples.
 
Q: How do you see the socio–cultural ties growing between the two countries? 
A: Socio-cultural exchanges are an important part of bilateral friendly exchanges. Recent years have witnessed booming socio-cultural exchanges between the two countries. Many Chinese art groups came to the UAE to present performances, making the Chinese culture better known to locals. Also, artists from the UAE went to China to find inspiration and young elites of the UAE visited China as youth ambassadors. More and more Chinese are pursuing education in the UAE and there has been a growing interest in studying in China and learning Chinese among UAE citizens. In 2014, more than 400,000 Chinese came to the UAE as tourists. As the Spring Festival approaches, many Chinese elements can be spotted in airports, hotels and shopping malls in the UAE. Many colorful artistic activities were organized to attract Chinese tourists, speaking volumes for the fruitful cultural exchanges between the two countries.
 
Q: On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, what is your message to the Chinese community here?
A: While achieving success in your own business and other undertakings, the Chinese community should care about the development of China and your hometown and promote Sion-UAE friendship. It is my hope that you continue to carry forward the Chinese virtue of being honest and hard-working, take an active part in all-round bilateral cooperation and work towards the development and progress of China. Also, I hope that you attach more importance to better incorporating yourselves with the locals and showcasing the traditional Chinese culture. The Chinese Embassy in the UAE will continue to do its utmost so that you lead a pleasant life in the UAE.
 
Q: In what areas has the Chinese community grown stronger here and where else would you like to see it grow ( in which fields) ?
A: In 2014, the strategic partnership between China and the UAE has made substantive progress with bilateral cooperation deepening markedly. Bilateral trade volume stood at more than 54 billion USD dollars, hitting a new high. Cultural exchanges have become all the more frequent. All this could not have been achieved without the efforts of the Chinese community in the UAE. We will continue to enhance mutual investment and trade with the UAE, push forward cooperation in such areas as oil, natural gas, railway, nuclear energy, civil aviation and state-of-the-art equipment manufacturing and enlarge exchanges in innovation and research. Also, we will try to dock China's westward openness and "one belt one road" policy alongside the policy of looking east of the UAE, putting fresh elements into the cooperation among countries along the silk road.
 
 
Q: What are the other plans China has for growth and expansion in the UAE?
A: Not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited the UAE, putting new impetus into bilateral relationship. We will take advantage of this opportunity to materialize the consensus reached by the two sides and push forward the strategic partnership between the two countries. At the political level, we will try to realize exchanges of high-level visits, enhance communication and coordination on major regional and global issues and deepen cooperation on international affairs. At the economic level, we will maintain the good momentum of economic cooperation and trade and further enhance cooperation on energy, investment, finance, civil aviation and tourism to create a win-win result. At the cultural level, we will further push forward people-to-people exchanges and make more Chinese tourists come to the UAE. 
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