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UAE seeks closer China ties through Africa, South Pacific investments as Middle East nation eyes ‘global player role’

China has invested in Africa for nearly a quarter of a century, lured by its natural resources and chance to form closer relations with the region seen as relatively overlooked by the United States.

The United Arab Emirates is strategically positioned to consolidate its role as the primary facilitator of trade and investmentShaikh Saoud Ali al-Mualla

Much of Africa and the Middle East have hooked into China’s Belt and Road Initiative – Beijing’s trade initiative to link economies into a China-centred network.

The UAE, a wealthy economic hub in the Gulf region widely known for the high-rises of its biggest city Dubai, is the fourth largest global investor in Africa, according to investments database fDi Markets. It says that investment reached about US$60 billion over the past decade, including ports and other infrastructure.

“Of all the [belt and road] nations situated within the…

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