Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived on Wednesday in Cairo, the second destination of his three-nation Middle Eastern tour, and celebrated the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Xi is the first Chinese head of state to visit Egypt in 12 years. He is expected to address the future relations between China and Egypt at the Arab League headquarters, according to Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming, quoted by the official Xinhua news agency.

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping. Photo: Wikicommons.

Xi met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and, said “China and Egypt had developed a deep friendship based on mutual respect”, according to Sina News.

“China supports Egypt’s efforts to maintain stability, develop the economy and improve livelihoods, and supports Egypt to play an even greater role in international and regional affairs,” he added.

“Egypt values its partnership with China and is excited about cooperating in the Belt and Road regional trade and infrastructure initiative,” Sisi said.

China and Egypt are expected to discuss potential projects, like Chinese investment in building a new Egyptian administrative capital and China lending Egypt’s central bank US$1 billion (HK$7.8 billion) to help prop up its foreign reserves.

Egypt was the first Arab and African state to recognise the People’s Republic of China and establish diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1956.

Xi is on his first overseas state visit in 2016 and will end the tour by visiting Iran later this week.