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UAE, China sign media, cultural cooperation accord

The UAE and China yesterday signed a five year agreement on information...

The UAE and China yesterday signed a five year agreement on information and cultural cooperation. The agreement, signed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Information and Culture Minister and his Chinese counterpart Sun Jiazheng, covers ways of boosting joint information, cultural and technical cooperation.

"Sheikh Abdullah's visit is of great significance and is a milestone in the history of cultural exchange," Jiazheng said, after welcoming Sheikh Abdullah in China. "We hope it will open up a new chapter of joint cooperation."

The Chinese minister praised President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's leadership which, he said, had laid the foundation for progress and development in the UAE. "The UAE has managed to achieve progress and modernity and preserve, at the same time, its heritage and culture. This approach has earned it wide international respect," the Chinese Minister said.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE is keen to build a close friendship with China in all fields, particularly in the information, cultural and technical areas.

"We are working to find an effective mechanism to develop bilateral information and cultural relations and today's agreement will definitely serve to push these relations ahead. "We in the UAE have great respect and appreciation for the prominent place occupied by the rich and great Chinese culture among global cultures."

Sheikh Abdullah also voiced the UAE's admiration of the the principled and firm Chinese policies which stand by causes of justice, rights and peace worldwide. According to the agreement signed yesterday, the two sides will work to develop cooperation in the fields of culture, arts, information, TV and radio broadcasting, education and instruction, sports, and printing and publishing.

The agreement calls for exchange visits by officials responsible for information, cultural and artistic departments as well as writers, artists and musicians, the exchange of cultural and artistic works and publications and for organising cultural and arts exhibitions.

The agreement also encourages media cooperation through exchange visits, the exchange of TV and radio programmes and films, as well as data on economic development. Cooperation between national news agencies and the translation and publication of art works in the two countries are also included under the agreement.

The protocol also covers cooperation in higher education through the exchange of professors, research and scholarships. Sheikh Abdullah arrived in Beijing on Sunday night leading a high-ranking delegation on an official visit to China.

Sheikh Abdullah is carrying a message from Sheikh Zayed to his Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin, dealing with bilateral relations. Sheikh Abdullah's trip to China comes amid steady growth in bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties in November 1984.

Relations were given a big boost by the visit of Sheikh Zayed to China in May 1990. The two countries have signed a number of agreements on economic and trade cooperation, the avoidance of double taxation, encouragement of investment, transport, health and extradition of criminals.