BEIJING - Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday that China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should work closely to promote orderly, efficient and sustainable development of bilateral energy cooperation.
He made the remarks when meeting with visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Beijing.
The bilateral exchanges and cooperation were entering into a new development phase, Wen said, noting the two peoples enjoyed profound friendship.
Wen said the UAE possessed strategic vision in dealing with ties with China, as it is the first country in the Gulf region to establish a strategic partnership with China, which was forged this January during the premeir's visit to the UAE.
Wen also called on the two countries to improve investment cooperation in infrastructure, high-end manufacturing and the green industry, and deepen educational and cultural exchanges.
The two countries should work together to promote the negotiation of a free trade zone between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), he said.
Sheikh Mohammed said the strategic partnership conformed with the two sides' fundamental interests, and the UAE was ready to cement practical cooperation with China in all fields.
He said the UAE will adhere to the one-China policy, and support for a bigger role of China in international and regional affairs.
The two leaders exchanged views on the situation in western Asia and northern Africa.
Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo also met with Sheikh Mohammed later Thursday afternoon, when Wu expressed willingness to advance parliamentary contacts with the UAE.
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE will further strengthen cooperation on trade, economy, energy and culture with China for mutual benefit, and bolster people-to-people understanding and friendship.
He said the UAE attached great importance to developing ties with China.
Sheikh Mohammed arrived in Beijing Tuesday afternoon for a three-day visit. Vice President Xi Jinping held talks with him on Wednesday.