Egypt, China seek closer ties, agree to fight terrorism
Egypt-China, Politics, 10/3/2001
A Chinese diplomat lauded historic relations and bilateral cooperation between Egypt and China, including a firm commitment to fight terrorism.
Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liu Xiaoming said during a reception at his residence on Sunday that both countries boast an ancient civilisation of thousands of years.
Formal diplomatic ties were established 45 years ago by China's late premier Zhou Enlai and Egypt's late president Gamal Abdel Nasser. "This friendship... has been consistently developed and deepened by our leaders and our two peoples," Xiaoming said.
The reception marked the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The guests included Deputy Prime Minister Youssef Wali, Minister of Education Hussein Bahaa el-Din, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ahmed el-Darsh, Minister of Tourism Mamdouh Beltagui and Former Secretary-general of the Arab League Ahmed Meguid.
Egyptian officials said diplomatic ties and cooperation with China has developed considerably over the last period.
They welcomed the Chinese diplomat to his new post, expressing optimism that his concerted efforts would help foster the existing friendly ties between the Chinese and Egyptian governments.
Ambassador Xiaoming reflected on his country's economic developments over the past 52 years.
"The past 52 years have witnessed earthshaking changes in China. The Chinese people have turned the country from a very poor and backward nation to a thriving and flourishing state in just 52 years, thus making a miracle never seen before in the history of Chinese nation," he said.
He noted that China's GDP had increased 57 times over the past 52 years to reach $1,000 billion, and now ranks 6th in the world.
Living conditions have also greatly improved, with life expectancy climbing from 35 years in 1949 to 72 years today, a figure higher than the world average.
"We are very proud of what we have achieved in the past 52 years. The Chinese people are now making active preparations for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games and working hard for the peaceful reunification of the country at an earlier date," the diplomat said.
Ambassador Xiaoming affirmed that China was prepared to join the WTO and expected to be a member 'very soon'. He expressed his confidence that conditions in China would continue to improve over the coming period.
"A stronger and prosperous China will make greater contributions to the peace and prosperity of the world," he added.
The Chinese diplomat also spoke of cooperation between China and Egypt to combat terrorism.
"Since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, China and Egypt have intensified consultations and cooperation.
Just four days ago, President Jiang Zemin and President Mubarak had a telephone conversation on combating terrorism.
The two presidents reached broad consensus. Both China and Egypt stand firmly against terrorism and strongly condemn the appalling terrorist act of September 11," he said.
"Both countries call for enhanced international cooperation in fighting terrorism and safeguarding world peace.
Both hold that the role of the United Nations should be put into full play. The two countries also oppose linking terrorism with religious or ethnic issues," he added.
The Chinese diplomat concluded by affirming that cooperation between China and Egypt would contribute significantly to international efforts to combat terrorism.
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