China and Egypt forge ahead with economic ties, call for peace in the Middle East

China and Egypt deepen economic ties, vowing joint development projects. Both call for a ceasefire in Gaza, respect for international law, and a two-state solution for lasting peace.

On a recent visit to Cairo, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, marking the first stop of Wang’s tour across Africa. The gathering highlighted a burgeoning relationship between the two nations, focusing on continued economic cooperation and joint efforts to foster regional stability.

Both sides emphasized their unwavering commitment to joint economic development projects, underscoring the significance of bilateral ventures as well as collaborations within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) framework and China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. This initiative, aimed at fostering infrastructure development and economic integration across continents, offers fertile ground for collaboration, particularly in sectors like transportation, energy, and technology.

President Xi Jinping, through Foreign Minister Wang, reaffirmed China’s dedication to strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership with Egypt. This sentiment resonates with Egypt’s desire for stable partnerships that contribute to its economic growth and regional influence. El-Sisi, in turn, expressed pride in his nation’s ties with China and reiterated Egypt’s unwavering support for the one-China policy.

Beyond economic interests, the meeting delved into pressing regional and international issues, with the ongoing conflict in Gaza taking centre stage. Both leaders advocated for an immediate ceasefire to protect civilians and alleviate the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region. They acknowledged the critical role of the international community in facilitating aid delivery and emphasized the need to abide by international law.

Furthering their commitment to regional stability, Egypt and China denounced the forced displacement of Palestinians, highlighting the importance of upholding international legal norms. They voiced their support for a two-state solution as the cornerstone for lasting peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, acknowledging the historical and humanitarian responsibility Egypt carries in mediating regional disputes.

The Egypt-China meeting transcended bilateral interests, emerging as a platform for promoting regional peace and development. The leaders’ call for a ceasefire in Gaza reflects a shared understanding of the devastating human cost of the conflict and their commitment to upholding international humanitarian principles.

However, some analysts caution against oversimplifying the nature of the partnership. While economic cooperation offers mutual benefits, concerns remain regarding China’s growing influence in the Middle East and its potential impact on regional dynamics. Balancing economic interests with safeguarding strategic autonomy will be crucial for Egypt as it navigates its relationship with China.

Moreover, the success of the two-state solution hinges on addressing the root causes of the conflict, including the longstanding issues of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. While both Egypt and China advocate for this solution, translating words into concrete action through sustained diplomatic efforts will be vital.

The meeting in Cairo serves as a microcosm of the complex geopolitical landscape in the Middle East, where regional powers vie for influence and global actors seek strategic footholds. While economic cooperation between Egypt and China presents promising opportunities, navigating this intricate web of interests and ensuring regional stability will require sustained dialogue, adherence to international law, and a commitment to peaceful resolutions.

As Wang Yi embarks on the remainder of his African tour, the echoes of the Egypt-China meeting are likely to resonate. The pursuit of economic development will undoubtedly remain a key driver of engagement, but navigating the complexities of regional politics and promoting lasting peace will be essential for forging truly meaningful partnerships.