1970, China and Ethiopia formally established diplomatic relations. For half a century, under the joint cultivation of the two sides, the friendship between China and Egypt has grown into a towering tree with luxuriant branches and vitality. After the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2017, China-Egypt relations have been at the forefront of China-Africa relations in terms of political mutual trust, joint construction of the “Belt and Road” and international affairs cooperation. China-Egypt cooperation has become a model of China-Africa cooperation and South-South cooperation.
Over the past 50 years, political mutual trust between China and Egypt has continued to deepen. The frequent exchanges of high-level visits between the two countries have pointed out the direction for bilateral relations. This year, at an important juncture for the Chinese people to fight the new crown pneumonia epidemic, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy sent two letters to express condolences to China. On February 25, President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Abiy at an appointment. These have reflected the profound friendship and mutual support between China and Egypt as comprehensive strategic cooperative partners. In June of this year, Prime Minister Abiy attended the China-Africa Unity Anti-epidemic Special Summit by video, and contributed to the success of the summit. China and Egypt have always understood and supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, and maintained close communication and coordination on major international issues.
Over the past 50 years, China-Egypt practical cooperation has continued to expand. China has become Ethiopia’s largest trading partner, largest source of investment, and largest project contractor for many consecutive years, playing an active role in Ethiopia’s infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, and agriculture. The Addis Ababa Light Rail, Yajiro-Djibouti Railway and industrial parks along the route have witnessed the fruits of China-Egypt cooperation and the historical process of Ethiopia’s industrialization and modernization. Ethiopia is one of the first African countries to sign a cooperation document on the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” with China. China supports Egypt in continuing to play a role as a bridge and link for China-Africa high-quality joint construction of the “Belt and Road”. China has sent a medical team to Egypt since 1974. So far, it has sent 359 people without interruption for more than 40 years. The story of Dr. Mei Gengnian, the captain of the first Chinese medical team to aid Egypt, is the best testimony of the friendship between China and Egypt.
Over the past 50 years, China-Egypt cooperation in international affairs has continued to improve. Ethiopia is a large country in the African region and an important developing country. China and Egypt have broad consensus and common interests in safeguarding multilateralism and supporting international justice and justice. The two countries have consistently upheld the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations, advocated the peaceful settlement of disputes, and opposed protectionism, unilateralism and hegemonism. Ethiopia is the headquarters of the African Union and has also served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. China and Egypt are important forces for maintaining world peace and security, and the cooperation between the two countries in international affairs has gone beyond the bilateral scope.
Currently, China and Egypt are working together to fight the new crown pneumonia epidemic, leaving many touching and unforgettable stories. The two countries once again exemplified the deep friendship of mutual assistance and shared weal and woe with their actions, and has become a vivid explanation of building a human health community and a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
As the new Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, I am full of confidence in the future of China-Ethiopia relations. Standing at a new historical starting point, no matter how the international situation changes in the post-epidemic era, China-Egypt traditional friendship and pragmatic cooperation in various fields will only continue to deepen and become more practical. Not long ago, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China reviewed and approved the proposal on formulating the fourteenth five-year plan. Ethiopia this year issued a development plan for the next ten years. The two sides should make good use of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum and the cooperation platform for the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” to better realize the docking of development strategies and push the China-Egypt comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights.
(The author is the Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia)