Trip meant as show of support for multilateralism and contrast to US protectionism, analyst says
South China Morning Post - Friday, 20 July, 2018
The United Arab Emirates rolled out the red carpet for Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first stop on his trip to the Middle East and Africa as China seeks closer ties with the region.
The UAE sent 12 F-16s and Mirage aircraft to escort the Chinese leader’s plane into Abu Dhabi on Thursday and gave Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan a 21-gun salute on arrival.
After his three-day stay at the Gulf state – the first by a Chinese leader in nearly three decades, Xi will head to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa for the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, before stopping over in Mauritius on the way home.
It is Xi’s first overseas trip since the start of his second term in March, and comes as China and the United States are on the brink of a full-scale trade war.