What's behind the growing ties between Asia and Arab monarchies

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Sayed Al Nahyan reviewing the honorary guards at the presidential palace in the UAE capital in July. Mr Xi's UAE visit was one of the recent indicators of how much relation
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Sayed Al Nahyan reviewing the honorary guards at the presidential palace in the UAE capital in July. Mr Xi's UAE visit was one of the recent indicators of how much relations between East and West Asia had evolved during the last decade. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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This summer, pictures of China's President Xi Jinping were all over the front pages of newspapers in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The occasion was the Chinese leader's three-day visit to the UAE, where he signed a comprehensive strategic partnership. The visit in July was the first by a Chinese leader in nearly three decades. Earlier this month, a memorandum of understanding was signed on collaboration in financial services.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2018, with the headline What's behind the growing ties between Asia and Arab monarchies. Subscribe