"China and Egypt have always supported each other over the past 65 years, and as COVID-19 is sweeping the world, the two countries are ushering in a chapter of friendship in the new era," Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.
May 30 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Egypt.
The two countries' concerted efforts in fighting the pandemic have vividly epitomized the China-Egypt health community and laid a solid foundation for building a China-Egypt community with a shared future, Liao told Xinhua, noting Egypt has constantly expressed its sincere support for China in various ways and through pragmatic actions.
In March 2020, Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed visited China's capital Beijing to convey Egypt's solidarity with China in combating the coronavirus.
On May 9, 2021, Zayed announced that Egypt will start locally producing China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in June at the plants of the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA).
"Besides, China was one of the earliest and largest donors to Egypt during the pandemic," Liao said, explaining that China has provided Egypt with four batches of anti-epidemic supplies and conducted multiple video conferences between the experts of the two countries.
China has also established a cooperative hospital mechanism and helped Egypt set up a face mask production line, he added.
On May 21, Egypt received the first batch of raw materials of Sinovac vaccine, making Egypt the first country on the African continent to cooperate with China in the production of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The pandemic has not hindered bilateral economic and trade exchanges. According to Liao, the import and export of goods between China and Egypt reached 14.57 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, marking a record high despite the impact of the epidemic.
"In the first quarter of this year, the bilateral trade volume totalled 4.18 billion dollars, a year-on-year increase of 32.1 percent," Liao said, noting China has become the country with the most active and fastest-growing investment in Egypt in recent years.
According to the embassy, China's new direct investment in Egypt reached 190 million dollars in 2020, with investment stock in Egypt exceeding 1.2 billion dollars. In the first quarter of this year, China's new direct investment in Egypt amounted to 83 million dollars, jumping by 134 percent.
People-to-people exchanges between the two countries have also remained robust. Events such as the China-Egypt symphony online concert and the progress made in the joint archaeological project at the Temple of Montu in Egypt's Luxor exemplified the deep China-Egypt friendship and the integration of the two civilizations, Liao said.
"The Chinese language has been officially included in Egypt's primary and secondary school education system," the Chinese ambassador added.
China and Egypt, both major developing countries and representatives of emerging markets, have treated each other with sincerity and helped each other in the journey of national development, Liao stressed, noting the deep synergy between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Egypt's Vision 2030 has yielded fruitful results in bilateral cooperation.
Some 50 km east of Egypt's capital Cairo, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) is making all-out efforts to build a Central Business District (CBD) in Egypt's new administrative capital despite COVID-19 challenges.
"Our two countries share similar dreams, philosophies and missions," Liao said, adding since the establishment of diplomatic ties 65 years ago, bilateral relations have withstood the test of the changing international situation, and mutual political trust has gone even deeper.
The all-dimensional China-Egypt ties have covered various fields, setting a good example for solidarity and win-win cooperation between China and Arab, African countries, he noted.
"Facing the current uncertainties of the international situation, China is ready to work with Egypt in all fields to inject more stability and positive energy into the world," Liao concluded.