Commentary: Morsi’s China visit to forge closer ties with Beijing

Only two months into his presidency, the newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is about to unfold his first China trip on Tuesday, aiming to forge closer ties with Beijing.

As Egypt, a long-time bellwether in the Arab world, struggled to get out of the bloody social unrest last year, the most pressing challenge for Morsi and his government at the moment is to revive the country’s stagnant economy.

That’s why Morsi is accompanied by a group of Egyptian business tycoons. The two countries were expected to sign a series of cooperation agreements, which will consolidate their economic ties.

As a matter of fact, Egypt and China have managed to maintain steady and robust cooperation despite Egypt’s social turmoil. Bilateral trade rose to 8.8 billion U.S. dollars last year, up nearly 30 percent year-on-year.

At the same time, the Chinese government extended its helping hand to prompt Egypt’s economic recovery by offering assistance and expanding investments.

China decided in April to provide 90 million RMB (14.16 million dollars) worth of free aids, while its investments in the Arab country in 2011 surged to 80 million dollars, up 60 percent compared to that of 2010.

However, the fledgling Egyptian government has a load of mounting tasks to improve confidence of foreign investors, including China’s.

In addition to deepening economic cooperation, Beijing and Cairo could also work together as trusted partners on a wide range of international issues, especially the on-going conflicts in Syria.

Both China and Egypt believe that the 17-month-long Syrian crisis should be settled through political means, opposing external military intervention.

With similar positions on Syria, the two governments could jointly play an even more constructive and effective role in bringing peace to the conflict-laden Middle East country.

Additionally, Egypt could be a bridge for China to strengthen cooperation with the whole Arab world and the African continent within the UN and other international organizations.

It is expected that with Morsi’s coming visit, the two countries shall build on their existing mechanisms and give a boost to bilateral ties.

The Egyptian government could count on China as a reliable partner to rebuild its post-upheaval nation.


Leave a comment