Egypt and China: Partners on the long road

By Mahmoud Allam ( ) Updated: 2016-01-19 09:40:03

Egypt and China: Partners on the long road

Allam Mahmoud. [Photo provided to]

Starting today, Egypt will welcome President Xi Jinping in his first visit to the region and to the country. This visit is of high significance for the two countries as this year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Egypt and China.

The visit is of great significance in several aspects. For one, Egypt was the first Arab and African country to recognize the People's Republic of China in 1956. Since then, the two countries have worked closely together with full awareness of their backgrounds as lands of ancient civilizations that have left a rich heritage to the world. Another significance is that China and Egypt, as members of the developing world, both countries are striving to develop and to create a world order based on fair and just principles for all nations.

The visit comes one year after China and Egypt agreed to establish a "comprehensive strategic partnership" in December 2014, which raised the level of cooperation between the two nations to the next level after the "strategic cooperation agreement" which was signed in 1999.

Such strategic partnership is expected to represent a term of reference for the talks that will take place between the leaders of the two countries. The discussions will cover the bilateral, regional and international issues, including exchanging views on important issues such as threats and challenges facing world peace and security - problems like terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and the situation in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Yemen, and the occupied Palestinian territories. China and Egypt, which are currently members of the United Nations Security Council, maintain close contacts on all such regional and international issues.

Egypt was always interested in working hand-in-hand with China to achieve a win-win solutions on various economic issues for all stakeholders of these institutions: Egypt is a founding member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) - which was inaugurated few days ago by President Xi in Beijing, Egypt is also involved in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) established 15 years ago, and have been present at the China Arab Cooperation Forum established in 2004. In all aspects, Egypt appreciates and supports China's role in leading initiatives to achieve these goals.

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