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Three Outstanding Achievements of Visit of President Xi Jinping to Egypt

  On January 22, 2016, President Xi Jinping ended his state visit to Egypt and arrived in Tehran at night to begin his state visit to Iran. Egypt was the second leg of the trip to the Middle East, and was the first visit to Egypt of highest Chinese leader after 12 years. Tang Tianbo, Assistant Research of the Middle East Institute of China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said in an interview with CCTV reporter, that there are three outstanding achievements made in the President Xi Jinping’s visit to Egypt.

  Facilitate the deepening of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Egypt

  After the talks with the Egyptian President Sisi in Cairo Kuba Palace, the Five-Year Implementation Plan for Strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Peoples Republic of China and the Arab Republic of Egypt (hereinafter referred as Implementation Plan) was jointly issued.

  Tang Tianbo thinks, the first key achievement in this trip is the issuance of Implementation Plan, which has proposed 80 agendas for 10 major aspects including politics, economy, investment and banking, military and safety, science and technology, aerospace, nuclear energy, communications and information technology, culture, news, tourism, education and humanities, environment, agriculture and forestry cooperation, energy, oil and gas cooperation, sanitation cooperation, judicial and legal cooperation and international and regional affairs. Each field is specified with specific objectives for implementation.

  “In December 2014 when President Sisi made a state visit to China, the two side had established a comprehensive strategic partnership,” Mr. Tang Tianbo said, “the signature of Implementation Plan represents that China and Egypt are no longer in the stage of planning. As the intention docking has been completed, the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Egypt has been developed to the specific stage of implementation.”

  Jointly advance “the Belt and Road” for economic mutual benefits

  In talks with Sisi, Xi Jinping said we will develop respective development strategies and vision, and make use the infrastructure construction and capacity cooperation to create Egypt as a support for “the Belt and Road”.

  After the talks, the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt on the Joint Promotion of the Silk Road Economic Zone and the Construction of the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st Century, as well as a number of bilateral cooperation documents in electric power, infrastructure, economy and trade, energy, finance, aviation space, culture, news, science and technology, climate changes and others, and jointly unveiled the nameplate for the second phase of China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone.

  Tang Tianbo said that the foreign exchange reserves of Egypt is only half of the amount before the revolution in Arab Spring in 2011. However, the Egyptian government has a lot to do while there are certain problems in the financial aspect. President Xi’s visit has also brought cooperation fruits for two countries in the economic aspect. If China provides loans, it will represent practical support to financing of Egyptian Central Bank and National Bank. In this way, China will provide loan to Egypt, boost the economic development Egypt and create Egypt as a key supporting country for “the Belt and Road”. All in all, it is mutually beneficial and win-win.

  According to media reports, the China Development Bank signed a loan agreement amounted to US $ 1 billion with the Egyptian Central Bank and signed a loan agreement amounted to US $ 700 million with Abbas, Governor of Egyptian National Bank. In addition to the above US $ 1.7 billion, China Development Bank will borrow US $ 100 million from the Bank of Egypt to finance the strategic projects in Egypt. The loan of US $ 700 million of China Development Bank and Egyptian National Bank will also be used to support the strategic projects in Egypt.

  Strengthen bilateral cultural exchange

  In this visit to Egypt, President Xi Jinping also participated the 60th Anniversary Celebration for Establishment of China-Egypt Diplomatic Relations and Opening Ceremony of 2015 China-Egypt Cultural Year at Luxor Temple Square.

  Xi Jinping pointed out that, Luxor is a concentrated expression of ancient Egyptian civilization. The buildings here reflect the amazing wisdom and technological level of the ancient Egyptian people. As China and Egypt are both ancient civilizations, we need to strength cultural exchanges, deepen civil friendships and consolidate the civil basis for bilateral cooperation so as to facilitate the common development and prosperity.

  During his talks with President Sisi, President Xi also pointed out that China is willing to strengthen human cooperation with Egypt, seek close cultural, educational and tourism exchanges, and promote friendly exchanges between the two peoples.

  In the view of Tang Tianbo, in-depth cultural exchange is another highlight. She mentioned that, as China and Egypt are part of the four ancient civilizations, cultural exchange is most prominent and intense in Egypt compared to other two Middle East countries in this trip. “Culture is a deep-seated exchange. The participation of President Xi in the 60th Anniversary Celebration for Establishment of China-Egypt Diplomatic Relations and Opening Ceremony of 2015 China-Egypt Cultural Year embodies the close connection of two countries. Enhancing cultural exchange may facilitate the bilateral development year after year.”

  

 
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