On the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and the People’s Republic of China
On May 18, the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs organized, in cooperation with the China-Arab Research Center on Reform and Development (CARC) (a think tank based in Shanghai, sponsored by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, and including former Chinese ambassadors to the Middle East), a virtual symposium on Egypt-China relations on the 65th anniversary of their establishment, in Cairo, in coordination by the Chinese Embassy in Cairo. It dealt with four axes: Arab-China cooperation in an evolving Middle East – major powers’ relations and Arab-China cooperation – The Belt and Road Initiative “post-Covid-19” Egyptian-Chinese relations post-pandemic (politically, economically, scientifically, artistically and culturally).
The symposium issued the following conclusions, in particular:
1- The two sides reviewed the progress in bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields, especially during the last decade, whereby they expressed their satisfaction with what has been achieved and the advanced level that these relations have reached thanks to the mutual trust of the political leadership in both countries, and the reliable partnership between them. In this context, the participants recalled the phone call that took place between the two presidents last February, in which they praised the progress and prosperity in these relations on the 65th anniversary of their establishment, supporting development strategies in both countries, and enhancing coordination and cooperation in regional and international issues of common interest. In this regard, the Chinese side expressed its deep appreciation for the pivotal Egyptian role in supporting Sino-Arab and Sino-African cooperation, adding that this is normal given the fact that Egypt is the first Arab and African country to recognize the People’s Republic of China.
2- The symposium emphasized the special importance of international cooperation to combat the “Covid-19” pandemic, in a manner that would guarantee a sustainable and coherent global health system, from which all countries would benefit, given that it is a matter of global human security that must be established for all. In this context, reference was made to the mutual support between the two countries to confront the pandemic, the China-Egypt cooperation with regard to the Covid-19 vaccine, and the two countries’ signing of an agreement to produce the Chinese vaccine in Egypt.
On the other hand, the symposium reviewed the existing cooperation programs between the two countries and the new executive program for the period 2021-2026, including Chinese industrial investments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, the business district project and the surrounding area in the New Administrative Capital, the design and construction project of five residential towers in the city of New Alamein, and the electric train project, connecting the cities of Al-Salam, the New Administrative Capital and the 10th of Ramadan, as one of the major infrastructure projects in which the two sides cooperate to connect Egyptian governorates, in addition to many other projects in various fields.
3- The two sides discussed joint cooperation in connection with the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Egyptian side was keen to confirm its interest in strengthening existing and new partnerships within the framework of the initiative, as indicated by President Al-Sisi during his participation in the Belt and Road Summit held in April 2019, especially since the initiative is in line with the development strategy adopted by Egypt, including Vision 2030.
4- Participants agreed on the common denominators between the Chinese vision of global governance and the Egyptian foreign policy orientations, including the concept of “building a community with a shared future for mankind”, in which China advocates promoting a new concept of international relations based on mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs, and cooperation on the basis of mutual benefits and common security, which is the responsibility of all countries of the world, especially since, in view of the multiple dangers present in today’s world, no nation, no matter how powerful it is, can solve our shared global problems on their own, and therefore all countries must work together as one power, leading to an international order based on peace and justice and achieves development and prosperity for all.
5- Accordingly, the participants agreed on the need to preserve the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as the best option for providing effective guarantees for global governance, including coexistence and cooperation based on diverse and multipolar powers. In this regard, the two sides agreed on the need to counter the attempts by certain parties to frame the current international situation and present it as including a club of democracies, led by the United States of America, that competes against the tyrannical club, as other countries will have to choose between two rival powers, thus increasing the chances of confrontation and clash.
6- The Egyptian side expressed that in light of China being the second world economic power and the world largest commercial power, as well as its considerable economic and commercial interests in the Middle East, the countries of the region expect Beijing to play an active political role in the regional issues and engage in finding solutions to them, in order to activate several initiatives presented by Beijing, the latest of which was the “five-point initiative” put forward by the Chinese Foreign Minister during his last Middle East tour last March.