Chinese media highlights Xi visit to Egypt

GMT 05:32 2016 Thursday ,21 January

Arab Today, arab today Chinese media highlights Xi visit to Egypt

President Xi jinping
Beijing - MENA

Chinese media highlighted the prospective visit of President Xi Jinping to Egypt - due to start on Wednesday.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua said the visit will advance bilateral relations and deepen cooperation in international and regional affairs.

China's special envoy on Middle East affairs said Xi's five-day Middle East tour, which started Tuesday and will also take him to Saudi Arabia and Iran, is also of great significance for the development of relations between China and the region.

Gong Xiaosheng said this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Egypt, as well as the start of diplomatic ties between China and other Arab nations.

He added that China and Egypt also celebrated the first anniversary of the upgrade of bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership at the end of last year.

"China and Egypt have maintained a friendly relationship for a long time," he said. "Egypt was the first Arab and African county to establish diplomatic ties with new China, and it's also one of the most influential countries in the Middle East."

During Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's visit to China in late 2014, the leaders of the two countries agreed to elevate the level of their ties to "comprehensive strategic partnership."

China was the second largest trading partner for Arab countries, and trade between China and Arab countries exceeded 251.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, noting that China provided huge economic assistance to the Arab world over the past six decades.

While the Middle East witnessed great change over the past few years, China, adhering to the stance of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and respect for the will of the Arab people, has always supported the self-determination of countries in the region, said the special envoy.

Gong said that given the history of West Asia and North Africa and the region's unique traditions, the international community should support countries in the region to explore development paths according to their own national conditions, echoing what President Xi had earlier said.

"We respect the Egyptian people's choice and support the path they have chosen, which not only is in the interest of the Egyptian people, but also conforms to China's diplomatic principles," he said.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that the fewer the external sources of agitation in the region, the sooner the countries of the Middle East countries can tide over their difficulties, he noted.

China's economic development and the rise of its international stature have brought forward new prospects for China-Egypt relations, Gong said, adding that despite the turmoils in the Middle East, countries in the region are looking forward to more cooperation with China. Already, trade between China and the Middle East has benefited both sides.

"This shows that China's influence is increasing as the country can provide them with a new possibility and choice. The two sides should attach great importance to and encourage this new trend in economic development," he said.

He noted that China and the Middle East have highly complementary economies and broad prospects for win-win cooperation.

"With China's advancement in high-tech, we need markets in developing countries, which also need to strengthen international cooperation and attract international investment to realize modernization and industrialization," Gong said.

The special envoy said the Belt and Road Initiative, or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposed by President Xi, has received warm responses from a number of Arab countries, including Egypt.

"Now we need to effectively implement the initiative and find an access point for both sides to further cooperate," he said.

On regional affairs in the Middle East, Gong said China has called for an all-round solution to the region's hot issues.

While pushing for peace in the Middle East, the international community should also help its economic development and provide more humanitarian assistance, he said.

The Belt and Road Initiative can play an important role in restoring the economies of the Middle East and promoting social stability, he said.

"We don't seek special interests in the region," said Gong. "China and the countries of the region have the same shared interests. And they are peace and stability."


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