China’s Ambassador to Egypt, Liao Liqiang, has said that the two countries have a strong strategic interdependence, presenting a model to be followed in international relations.

Liqiang praised the Egyptian economy’s performance, despite the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Ambassador noted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Egypt’s economy to grow by 3.6%, despite the worldwide economic downturn due to the global health crisis. Egypt’s unique position of positive growth makes it one of the few countries that will achieve positive economics in 2020.

“Despite the pandemic, Chinese investments in Egypt and the trade exchange between the two countries have increased,” Ambassador Liqiang said, “China and Egypt have great potential to further cooperate and follow through on fruitful achievements.”

He congratulated Egypt for the new archaeological discoveries that have recently been made in the Saqqara archaeological site, which Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khlaed Al-Anani described as the largest archaeological discovery in 2020.

Liqiang also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Egypt’s efforts to combat illegal trade in antiquities. He said that China is ready to undertake joint efforts with Egypt in coordinating and protecting antiquities and heritage.

He said “We are the oldest two civilisations in the world, and this is a responsibility required of us.”

On 19 November, Al-Anani handed over 31 stolen antique coins to the Ambassador Liqiang, after they were seized in customs before being smuggled.

The Ambassador disclosed that on 18 November, contact was made with Chinese and Egyptian health officials, with the Chinese side affirming its full readiness to cooperate with Egypt in the battle against COVID-19. This includes the development of vaccines and treatments, and research on the role of traditional medicines in combating diseases.

The Egyptian side affirmed its keenness to cooperate with China in this field, he added, whilst also noting that China and Egypt are cooperating in several fields. These include cooperation in the field of digitisation and digital economy, in addition to developing and implementing a programme to qualify young Egyptians on using the Internet properly due to the pandemic.

Liqiang said that China is willing to share new development opportunities with other countries, and to seek peaceful coexistence and common development on the basis of mutual respect, equality and shared benefits.

“For the vaccines that are highly anticipated by the international community, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed that China will continue to actively support and participation in international cooperation on theCOVID-19 vaccines,” Liaiqang said, “This will work towards materialising the COVAX facility backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as sharing China’s vaccines with the world, particularly developing countries.”

He added that efforts will be made to ensure that vaccines are accessible for the global public good, at affordable prices.

Liqiang noted that China’s President Xi Jinping has emphasised that his country welcomes the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It will also favourably consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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