The most important thing that stopped me in the speech of President (El-Sisi), during the presentation of his speech concerning the circumstances of the establishment of the modern Chinese state and the success of its revolution in 1949, which comes in similar circumstances to the (June 30 revolution) in Egypt, which was led by President “El-Sisi ” after millions of crowds that demanded him at the time as a minister of Defense standing by the revolting Egyptian people against the rule of the (Muslim Brotherhood), which Egyptians celebrate these days on the occasion of (June 30 revolution), in similar circumstances to the (Communist Party) of China’s celebration of its centenary and its 100th anniversary on July 1 this year.
This is what brings me as an expert in Chinese political affairs, to shed light on (President El-Sisi’s speech), analyzing it from the angle of (the success story of the ruling Communist Party in China and its centenary celebrated this year, and its similarity relationship with the June 30 revolution in Egypt and its leader, President “El-Sisi”.
The similarities and differences between the (Chinese Revolution of 1949) and the policies of the Communist Party of China and the (June 30th revolution) in Egypt and the policies of President “El-Sisi”.
On a personal level, the Egyptian researcher was interested in analyzing a number of general aspects in the similarities between the causes of the (1949 revolution in China), which paved the way for the arrival of the authority of the (Communist Party of China) to power, despite its inception in 1921, and (the June 30 revolution) in Egypt, and what followed a quick and brief reading of the scene in both cases, because of the evidence for that, and quickly highlighting them for what I recently noticed when re-reading the political scene in both Beijing and Egypt, that there are similarities – perhaps many did not pay attention to them – as follows:
1) The two Egyptian and Chinese revolutions experienced various types of turbulent relations with the West in their infancy: as a result of their choice of independent positions that reflect the real challenges facing their peoples and the region. This is in addition to the revival of the (national identity) and its contents of opposition to foreign interference in our internal affairs. From 1921 until the (Revolution of 1949) in China, the (Communist Party of China) led all of the Chinese people in hard and bitter struggles, overthrew the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism, and successfully has established the (People’s Republic of China) after the success of its revolution. After the establishment of the republic, the Communist Party of China led its people of all nationalities in safeguarding the country’s independence and security.
On the Egyptian side, the beginning of the (June 30 revolution) in Egypt was to overthrow the rule of (militias and religious sects) and preserve (the Egyptian main and basic civil state’s identity), not to divide the country and preserve its unity.
2) As for the role of the new leaderships in Egypt and China after the revolutions: we note here their clear tendency to strike a balance in their regional and international relations and to correct the imbalances that occurred in them during the previous periods on the Arab, African and international levels.
3) With regard to the view and vision of the political leaders to the world after the June 30 revolution in Egypt and the 1949 revolution in China: Both of them made it clear that cooperation is the basis, on condition that this not be done at the expense of the interests of small and medium powers, and that this does not represent an agreement on world domination.
4) As for the common experiences of both the Egyptian and Chinese revolutions: The two revolutions gained great experience – despite their short period – regarding the international situation and managing their relations with Washington and the West, and re-adapting their systems and policies while continuing their evaluation of their experiences and stages of growth. With their agreement on the need to benefit from the trends of global economic and technological development and modernization as urgent conditions to keep pace with modernization and the mechanisms of the modern era.
5) To answer the question of the similarity between the beginnings of the Chinese and Egyptian revolution: the Chinese revolution of 1949 emphasized (three main goals), the first one is the (nationalism), it aimed at independence from foreign influence, the second goal is the (unity under a national goal) that governs a central authority, while the third goal is the (radical change in economic and social conditions). The auditor of the three goals finds them to be the same goals of the Egyptian revolution on (June 30) to get out of the mantle of dependency as a new revolution to correct the course and the path of January 25th revolution that brought the authority of Muslim Brotherhood, and to improve economic and living conditions, through the resulting projects and basic infrastructure.
6) To get acquainted with the generations and leaders who led the revolutions in Egypt and China: Since the strengthening of the authority of the People’s Liberation Army and the ruling Communist Party after the 1949 revolution in China, the rule of China has continued so far by different (five generations) who have formed the “collective leadership” at the top of the party and state pyramid, and this was reflected in the official discourse for the country, every leadership that succeeded in ruling China after the revolution was linked in the mind and mind of the Chinese people, when each of them was characterized by specific features that fall under the (general ideology of the party). Up to the “fifth generation”, or the current one, led by Chinese President (Xi Jinping). But what distinguishes the generations of the (June 30) revolution in Egypt is that it was essentially a (popular revolution) in which all Egyptian national institutions participated, under the slogan (We want the homeland, while they want militias and sects).
7) The pillars of power after the revolutions (June 30) in Egypt and (1949) in China: Three leadership positions that constitute the three pillars of power in China are (the ruling Communist Party), the state (the government) with all its leaders and formations, then (the People’s Liberation Army) and sometimes it is called (the people’s army) or the armed forces in the common sense.
While the pillars of the (June 30) revolution were the so-called (revolutionaries and the state) together, the judiciary sympathized with it from the beginning and was part of it, then the police sympathized with it, and the army, Al-Azhar and the church adopted it, and the youth of the revolution themselves drew up a roadmap for it.
8) The agreement (the Egyptian and Chinese revolutions) that modernization in their view is a process that requires firm authority to put it into practice: because the most important feature of the June 30 revolution is: the absence of the slogan of overthrowing the regime and the return of the civil state away from any religious polarization. The unrest after the fall of the rule of the (Muslim Brotherhood) from the increase in terrorist operations and activities, endangering national security, borders of sovereignty, the problem of water, the Renaissance Dam, and tunnels in Sinai Therefore, it was necessary to (a firm authority) in Egypt after the success of the revolution (June 30th) facing all this chaos and turmoil.
On the Chinese side, there is almost agreement that any modernization plan for China will not succeed without eliminating corruption and the corrupt, so look for corruption.The first Chinese leader from the generation of leaders after the revolution (1949) in China to lead an anti-corruption campaign, was (Jiang Zemin), who was keen to address the political mentalities within the Communist Party, and to open up to his fellow party members about the problems and obstacles facing the development and modernization process. In his country, especially corruption, which resulted in a number of problems such as: class disparity in the population, unemployment, poverty, marginalization…etc.
9) The processes of selecting, preparing and qualifying new leaders in Egypt and China after the revolutions of (June 30) in Egypt and (1949) in China: The selection of young talents in China after the revolution (1949) – comes on the Faraza, as the famous expression in Egypt says – and it is the same idea in particular, which was previously crystallized by the late leader of the march of renewal (Deng Xiaoping), who put forward his famous saying about (the four transformations), and that the political transformations lead to the future of the new China being assumed by young leaders with the following basic qualities:
to be (revolutionary) and loyal younger age (the issues here are, of course, relative), but with a broader amount of (knowledge) and a greater degree of (specialization at the external level), so it becomes expected that the new Chinese leaders will be keen and work on (crystallizing better relations with the outside), but within a wider framework political and diplomatic scope.
On the other hand, one of the most important gains of the (June 30) revolution was the (presidential programmes), so the president (El-Sisi) paid great attention to the youth, by preparing them for leadership, inaugurating the (World Youth Forum), and announcing what is known as (the presidential program to qualify youth for leadership). The idea of which began with announcing the initiative of President (El-Sisi) on it himself in September 2015, with the aim of creating and qualifying a base of youth competencies and qualifying them for political, administrative and societal work in the country, and raising their efficiency with the latest practical and administrative theories to qualify them to plan for the future, and increase their ability to apply the latest methods for facing challenges.
10) The tyranny of the language (frankness) or (disclosure) of the reality of the prevailing conditions in (the official Chinese and Egyptian political discourses) after the revolutions of (June 30th) in Egypt and (1949) in China: those interested in Chinese affairs stopped for a long time to analyze when the late Chinese leader contemplated (Jiang Zemin) as he handed over the reins of power to those who would come after him, they were provoked by the tone of (frankness) or (self-criticism) that they are training in (the Cadre School of the ruling Communist Party), and within the framework of this frankness, the Chinese leader (Jian Zemin) did not hesitate to say without equivocation or falsification Comrades:
“If we do not strike with an iron hand at the hands of corruption and the corrupt, the bond of blood and flesh that is, the bond that binds our party to the masses that binds the party and the masses together will crack and the party will be in danger of losing its ruling position in the country. The party may even find itself heading towards self-destruction”.
On the Egyptian side, we note that the speeches of President (El-Sisi) after the (June 30th revolution), from the first moment, were dominated by the language of credibility and frankness as a general approach to his speeches, without making any kind of propaganda. Rather, it was a frankness and disclosure of all the challenges and dangers facing the people. As (El-Sisi) literally said:
“From the first moment I stand before you, I want to be honest with you as I have always been, honest with my country, and honest with myself”. Or his literally serious speech in one of his speeches, saying:
“Egyptians have a very difficult, heavy task). So is his discourse (we must be honest with ourselves) and the sentence of (making the future is a joint work, it is a contract between the ruler and his people), or his frank talk (the truth is I want to be honest with you, and the circumstances are as you see and appreciate), or his realistic talk with (I do not offer miracles. Rather, I offer hard work, effort, and self-denial without limits), as well as his promise to the Egyptian people in the realistic context of his speech to them (I promise you that we can together, people and leadership). And other phrases and sentences that were contained in his political discourses in their entirety, which carry the meanings of frankness and truth without a stylized choice of the meanings of words, and these are the same ideas that were brought up in (school or the so-called cadre of the Communist Party in China) after the revolution (1949) in China.
Through the researcher’s presentation of all the previous points, it becomes clear to us in the evidence the size of the similarity and intersection between the challenges facing both Egypt and China, and this is what prompted China to support Egypt after the (June 30th revolution), with the continued keenness of the Chinese state to continue relations with Egypt during the era of President (El-Sisi) after the June 30 revolution in a positive way, and taking advantage of what has been achieved in previous periods to build stronger and more solid relations and explore new areas and horizons for Egyptian-Chinese cooperation, based on mutual giving, and based on each party’s understanding of the other party’s national interests and responding to them, with what this requires from consolidating the main pillars of the Egyptian-Chinese economic, commercial, cultural and military relations under the leadership of President (Abdel Fattah El-Sisi).
Hence, I conclude my previous analyzes with what I learned from (China’s policy) and its recent transformations and competition with Washington and others, which is that we must bear in mind – and from my experience and constant communication with the Chinese – that China does not decide its foreign policy based on the rightness or invalidity of matters. Because this is a political standard that is crowded with emotional and emotional factors, and it does not have practical results. But it takes the (national interest) as a criterion for its foreign policy. The point is to say that the preservation of diplomatic policy to the maximum extent of China’s national interests, after careful calculation, is the successful (quiet star of Chinese diplomacy). Therefore, the Chinese rapprochement with Cairo, and Beijing’s support for the demands of the June 30 revolution in Egypt did not come out of nowhere, but rather based on accurate calculations, and it is the conclusive indication of the maturity of (Chinese diplomacy) which opponents witnessed before friends, and how many friends of China are everywhere.
The Russian bear in Lebanon
It turned out that the Biden-Putin summit on May 16 has established a wider effect than anyone would expect.
It exceeded by far political analysis, especially in Lebanon. The summit almost coincided with the Russian economic delegation’s visit to Beirut on the 18th of the same month and the announcement of its study results to initiate investments projects in Lebanon.
The results revealed the Russian delegation’s future plans in rebuilding the oil refineries in Zahrani and Tripoli and rehabilitating the latter’s port. Regardless of the projects, the Russian companies intend to deal with, if they are approved and encouraged by good signs changes can be relied upon. It means that Lebanon has taken an important leap in its economic policies by gradually moving towards the East.
Naturally, Lebanon’s orientation towards the East “if it happens” will not be absolute and definitive, but rather principled and partial. This is an important matter by itself. It is marked as a qualitative leap that may minimize the private companies’ monopolization of energy imports, which will be directly reflected, firstly, in electricity production in Lebanon, and secondly in facilitating the provision of petroleum products in Lebanon. Such projects became a necessity, in particular, after the collapse of the Lebanese lira against the American dollar.
Logically, changing the reality of the production of electricity will reveal immediate results. It will be reflected in the change in the rehabilitation of the economic infrastructure fields in Lebanon. It will also positively reflect in other vital areas, such as determining the prices of food commodities, which became outrageously high.
Accordingly, one of the most important reasons for the obscene rise in food prices is related to the high costs of transportation in the last month alone. It is almost above the purchasing power of the Lebanese. For example, the prices of vegetables and fruits, a non-imported commodity, which is not supervised by government support, remained within reasonable prices; however, once the diesel prices started rising, it directly affected the prices of the seasonal vegetables and fruits.
In addition, there are unseen accomplishments that will go with the entry of Russian companies, which is creating new job opportunities in Lebanon. Lately, it was reported that unemployment in Lebanon will reach 41.4% this year. It is a huge rate, which the Lebanese media, in general, use to provoke people against the current resigned government. However, it neglects to shed the light on the importance of the Russian investment in creating new job opportunities, which will affect all social groups, whether they were transporters, building workers, porters, cleaners, or university graduates.
The companies coming to Lebanon are directly supported by the Russian state. However, they are private companies, a fact that has its advantages. They are familiarized with dealing with other Western international companies. Russian companies have previously coordinated with French and Italian companies in Lebanon, through contracts concluded for the extraction of gas in Lebanese fields and in other fields outside Lebanon. Russian- European coordination process is also recognized in rebuilding Beirut’s harbor. A German company will rebuild the docks, while the French will rebuild the containers or depots, and the Russian companies will rebuild the wheat silos.
It seems that the process is closely related to the future of Lebanon and the future of the Chinese project, the New Silk Road, [One Road, and One Belt]. However, it is not clear yet whether the Russian companies will be investing in Tripoli’s refinery and in regenerating and expanding its port or it will be invested by the Chinese companies. If this achievement is accomplished, then Tripoli will restore its navigating glorious history. Tripoli was one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean. Additionally, there is a need for the Russian and the Chinese to expand on the warm shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Secondly, the project will boost Tripoli and its surroundings from the current low economic situation to a prosperous economic one, if the real intentions are there. The results in Tripoli will be read as soon as the projects set foot in the city. Of course, this will establish another Sino-Russian victory in the world of economy and trade, if not in politics as well.
The entry of the Russians and the Chinese into the Lebanese field of commerce has international implications. It will come within international and global agreements or understanding. Nevertheless, it is a sign that the Americans are actually losing their grip on Lebanon. This entry will stop the imposition of a limited number of European-oriented Lebanese monopolizing companies, which have dominated the major Lebanese trade of oil and its products. Dominance is protected with the “illusion” of meaningless international resolution. It is true that the Americans are still maneuvering in several places; however, this is evident to the arbitrariness of decisions making in the U.S. today. It is the confusion resulting from ramifications of the “Sword of Jerusalem” operation in Palestine; it seems that they do not have a clear plan towards policies in the region, other than supporting “Israel”.
If the above is put into action, and the Russian companies start working within a guarantee agreement with the Lebanese state. This means a set of important issues on the international and regional levels. And it also means that the Americans would certainly prefer the Russians to any Chinese or Iranian economic direct cooperation in Lebanon.
Firstly, it is clear that in their meeting Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin reached a kind of consent to activate stability in the region. Two years ago, the Americans had a different plan. According to an established source, the Americans actually intended to strike internal stability in Lebanon and ignite another civil war round, before finalizing stability in Syria. This assertion tunes with David Hale’s, an American envoy to Lebanon, a declaration about the American anger over the $10 billion spent in Lebanon to change the political reality and overthrow Hezbollah from the government. Consequently, the American project is behind us now. Russia and China need to invest in the stability of Lebanon, in order to secure their investments in the process of rebuilding Syria.
Secondly, the Lebanese state guarantee, which the Russians require, is directly related to the lack of confidence in the Lebanese banking policies, which have lost their powers as a guarantor for investments after the role they played since November 17, 2019 till today. It proved the inefficiency of the financial policies of the Lebanese banks, which was based on the principle of usury since the nineties of the last century. In addition, a state guarantee will enable the Russian companies to surpass the American sanctions.
The state guarantee increases the value and importance of the Lebanese state as an entity in the region, and this can be understood from Macron’s statements after the explosion of Beirut port last August when he said that Lebanon’s role in the region as we know it must change.
Thirdly, if we consider the history of international unions in the world, including the European Union, the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council and others, they started as economic alliances before they end as political alliances. Therefore, at this historical stage and in order to work on the economic recovery of Lebanon, which needs more investments instead of falling under the burden of more debts. Lebanon needs to head East towards economic unity with Syria. In cooperating with two superpowers, Lebanon and Syria can form an economic bloc on the Mediterranean shores, a bloc that can get Lebanon out of the vortex of Western absurdity and expand its alliances and horizons to be a real economic and cultural forum where the East and the West can meet.
From our partner Tehran Times
A New Era in US-Jordan Relations
King Abdullah of Jordan is the first Arab leader who met American President Joe Biden at the White House. The visit has reaffirmed the strong and long-standing Jordan-US strategic partnership and reinvigorated the bilateral engagement for working together on security issues, and economic development on the basis of shared values and priorities. The King’s visit to Washington reaffirmed Jordan’s value as a reliable ally who plays a critical role for stability in a highly volatile region.
Jordan’s value is multi-dimensional and ranges from bilateral military cooperation, intelligence sharing and joint global counterterrorism operations including as a member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS and the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve to deployment of almost three thousand (3,000) American troops to Jordan as part of the ongoing campaign to combat regional terrorism. The US has expanded military footprint to Jordan after Washington’s decision to withdraw forces from Syria and reduce military presence in the Turkish airbase of Incirlik. In addition, the kingdom’s geopolitical position in the heart of the Middle East provides a viable alternative for logistical support to the American military taking into consideration the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and close three bases in Qatar. Notably, the remaining supplies from the three Qatari bases along with the Support Mission have been transferred to Jordan and have become part of the Area Support Group-Jordan that operates as the Base Operations Support Integrator to back contingency operations and military-to-military engagements within the US Army Central Command’s area of responsibility.
Jordan’s value also stems from its critical role in addressing the overwhelming humanitarian needs created by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq as well as in hosting almost two million registered Palestinian refugees.
Support of Two-state Solution
The fact that Jordan remains at peace with Israel and is a key interlocutor with the Palestinians adds to the kingdom’s reliability to mediate and advance initiatives that support the two-state solution. This presupposes the resetting of Jordan-Israel relations. Washington is well-placed to offer its good offices and help restore trust between the two neighboring countries. The twenty-seventh year Jordan-Israel peace treaty shows not only the possibilities for coordination and co-existence but also the ceilings to peace with Israel in the absence of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A “cold peace” and quiet, limited cooperation are currently the maximum possibilities vis-a-vis a “warm peace” that will unlock Jordan-Israel cooperation and potential.
It is nevertheless noteworthy that the last five years have been discerned by the previous American administration’s lack of appreciation of the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Trump peace proposal, known as “the Vision”, not only undermined the long-established aim of a two-state solution but also reinforced discussions over alternatives including a one state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; different measures of annexation, such as Israeli annexation of Area C in the West Bank; “exotic options” such as a federation in which Israel and Palestine share certain aspects of sovereignty; potential unilateral Israeli initiatives with most prevailing a Jordanian model, in which Jordan takes control of the West Bank and Palestinians are given Jordanian citizenship; and, reinforcement of the notion that “Jordan is “Palestine””.
Practically, Jordan can serve as honest broker in any future Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but as the late King Hussein stated in an interview with The New York Times in 1991 “Jordan should not be, cannot be, will not be a substitute for the Palestinians themselves as the major aggrieved party on the Arab side in a process that leads to peace”. The cited statement is fully embraced by Jordan’s current leadership.
Acknowledgment of Jordan’s Custodianship
The public acknowledgement by the American President of the kingdom’s special role as custodian of the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem is translated into a vote of confidence and a commendation for Jordan’s efficient safeguarding of religious sites for decades. As known, Amman pays the salaries of more than one thousand (1,000) employees of the Jerusalem Waqf Department and its custodianship role is carried out on behalf of all Islamic nations. The kingdom holds the exclusive authority of the Jordanian-appointed council, the Waqf, over the Temple Mount/ Haram Al Sharif and has spent over 1 billion dollars since 1924 for the administration and renovation of Al Aqsa mosque.
Jordan has admittedly served at multiple occasions as credible intermediary for Israel and the Palestinians to suspend tensions in the old city of Jerusalem, particularly at the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif and pursues a successful administration of religious funded schools favoring moderate religious education and religious tourism. Jordanian moderation has guaranteed co-existence of the three monotheistic religions in Jerusalem at a time when on the contrary, counties like Turkey funnel millions of dollars in charity projects in Jerusalem promoting the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Overall, Jordan’s custodianship has proved to be successful in maintaining delicate arrangements for the benefit of all religions and parties involved.
American Loan Guarantees
The King’s discussions with the American President also centered on the economic challenges exacerbated by the effect of the pandemic and the enhancement of bilateral economic cooperation. Admittedly, Jordan showed strong leadership and governance with early actions that reduced the coronavirus pandemic pressure on the kingdom’s health system. The Jordanian government imposed a nationwide lockdown and severe social distancing measures at a much earlier stage of the pandemic than other Middle East countries.
Jordan withstood the pandemic’s impact with minimal loss of life but with a significant cost to its economy. As of June 2020, most restrictions on economic activity were lifted turning Jordan into one of the first Arab countries to reopen. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has contracted in 2020 by 3.5 percent after growing 2 percent in 2019 due to losses in state revenues because of fewer remittances and a weakened tourism market.
To cope with the direct negative effects of the pandemic on its state budget, the Kingdom received $396 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The amount of finance has specifically helped address the country’s balance of payments needs and allowed for higher spending on healthcare, and assistance to households and companies most affected by the pandemic. Despite that the IMF provided in March 2020 another multi-year $1.3 billion loan package to Jordan, the pandemic has caused a $1.5 billion shortfall in its balance of payments.
This complex economic reality along with Jordan’s moderation in the Arab world justify continued robust annual American economic assistance to the kingdom in the form of budgetary support (cash transfer), USAID programs in Jordan, and loan guarantees. US cash assistance should increase in the coming years taking into consideration that it is directed to refugee support and to segments of the economy that are mostly affected by the pandemic like foreign debt payments and fuel import costs. Overall, a pledge should be made for Jordan in American congress for the authorization of moreUS sovereign loan guarantees that will help the kingdom weather the pandemic’s adverse medium-to-long-term effects on its economy. US sovereign loan guarantees will allow Jordan to issue debt securities that are fully guaranteed by the American government in capital markets, effectively subsidizing the cost for the Jordanian government to access financing.
It is also noticeable that in a genuine effort to help the kingdom contain the pandemic and safeguard public health, the American administration proceeded with the delivery of over 500 thousand covid-19 vaccines to Jordan highlighting American commitment to international vaccination programs including that of the kingdom.
US-Jordan Defense Partnership
The strategic US-Jordan defense relationship was reflected in the discussions that were conducted between the Jordanian King and the American President. American support for the modernization of Jordan’s F-16 fighter jets has been at the forefront of the agenda with the aim of achieving greater interoperability and effectiveness for the Jordanian Armed Forces. The American President recognized Jordan’s contribution to the successful international campaign to defeat ISIS and honored as an example of heroism the memory of captain Muath al-Kasasbeh who was executed in 2015 by the terrorist organization’s militants.
Jordan has suffered avowedly from terrorism throughout the years and works collectively at regional and international levels to eliminate all its forms. The kingdom lost two prime ministers, Haza’a Al-Majali and Wasfi Al-Tal, as victims of terrorism and experienced a series of terrorist attacks like the simultaneous suicide bombings against three hotels in Amman in November 2005 that led to the loss of life of American, Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian nationals.
In effect, Jordan is the third-largest recipient of annual American foreign aid globally, after Afghanistan and Israel. A Memorandum of Understanding on American foreign assistance to Jordan commits the United States to providing $1.275 billion per year over a five-year period for a total of $6.375 billion (FY2018-FY2022). Renegotiations on the next such agreement for FY2023-FY2027 is estimated that will aim at increasing the American commitment to Jordan, a key ally in the fight against international terrorism whose military should be in position to procure and maintain conventional weapons systems.
On the whole, Jordan is a steadfast security partner of the United States in the Middle East whose moderation and pragmatism helped the kingdom weather regional and world challenges. As 2021 and past years have showed, Jordan’s position as a bridge between the Levant and the Persian Gulf provides it a unique geopolitical standing, in a way that nowadays Amman is granted with a significant security, diplomatic and humanitarian role that signals a new era in US-Jordan relations.
Chinese FM Wraps Up his Visit to Egypt
Wang Yi, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, visited Egypt on July 18, 2021, in El Alamein City, northwest Egypt. The Chinese Foreign Minister is the first foreign official to visit this strategic city.
Wang Yi met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, during his visit to Egypt, and they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and China. Egypt is the first Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with China and the first African country to do so. In the Arab world, the Islamic world, Africa, and developing countries, Egypt has long been one of China’s most important strategic partners. At the international level, the two countries mutually support one another. The meeting between Egypt’s Foreign Minister and China’s Foreign Minister focused on three main issues: the Covid-19 vaccine, the One Belt One Road Initiative, and international and regional issues such as Palestine and Syria
Both Egypt and China have a long history of cooperation and friendship. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19, the two countries’ relations were based on economic and trade cooperation, with China being Egypt’s first trading partner for the eighth year in a row since 2013, and the volume of trade exchange between the two countries exceeding $14.5 billion in 2020. However, as the outbreak Covid-19, cooperation between the two countries expanded to include medical cooperation. Egypt and China worked together to combat the virus. Egypt sent medical supplies to China, and China sent medical supplies and Chinese vaccine to Egypt. In addition, in December 2020, the two sides signed a cooperation agreement on COVID-19 Vaccine Production and China dispatched technical teams to Egypt to assist in the vaccine’s local manufacture. As a result, Egypt is considered Africa’s first vaccine manufacturer.
One Belt One Road Initiative
Egypt is an important strategic partner in building the Belt and Road Initiative. According to CGTN, the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al- Sisi, stated that:” Egypt supports the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI).” He added that Egypt is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of economy, trade, industry, science and technology, and expand human exchanges within the framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative.” One Belt and One Road Initiative is one of the most important initiatives of the twenty-first century, announced by President Xi Jinping during official visits to Indonesia and Kazakhstan in 2013. Egypt was one of the first countries to participate in this initiative. In 2014, Egyptian President al-Sisi expressed in an interview that China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative was an “opportunity” for cooperation between China and Egypt. Egypt was willing to participate in it actively.
International and Regional Issues
Regarding the international and regional issues, the two sides exchanged views and coordinated positions on some issues as Palestine, Syria issues. It’s worth mentioning that Wang Yi paid a visit to Syria the day before his trip to Egypt, marking him the first Chinese official to visit Syria since the country’s civil war began. China supports the Syrian sovereignty and rejects foreign interference in Syria, and also rejects the regime change. The Egyptian Minister Sameh Shoukry also discussed with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi the GERD issue. According to Sky News, Shoukry explained Egypt and Sudan’s positions as two downstream countries, the importance of preserving the interests of all parties and not jeopardizing the downstream countries’ water security, and the importance of engaging in intensified negotiations under the auspices of the African Union presidency. The two sides signed an agreement on the Egyptian-Sino Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee at the end of their meeting.
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