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Chinese president arrives in Egypt for state visit

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-21 00:17

Chinese president arrives in Egypt for state visit

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R front) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping (L front) upon his arrival in Cairo, Egypt, Jan 20, 2016. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Cairo Wednesday for a state visit to Egypt, the second leg of his three-nation Middle East tour. [Photo/Xinhua]

CAIRO - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived on Wednesday for a state visit to Egypt, the second leg of his three-nation Middle East tour.

It is the first time in 12 years that a Chinese president visits Egypt, a leading country in the Arab world, Africa and the Islamic world.

The visit, which comes at the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Egypt, is expected to chart out the future of the two countries' relations, said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming, adding that the visit will be a "milestone."

Xi is scheduled to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and meet with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and other leaders during the visit.

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

The bilateral ties are enjoying sound momentum. Al-Sisi paid a visit to China in December 2014 during which the two countries elevated their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. Xi met al-Sisi again when the Egyptian president was in Beijing to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in September 2015.

Bilateral trade between China and Egypt reached a record high of $11.6 billion in 2014. The two-way trade amounted to $9.67 billion in the first three quarters of 2015, up 13 percent year-on-year, according to Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo.

Egypt is one of the founding members of the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and also vowed to vigorously participate in China's Belt and Road Initiative, believing that the initiative has provided an important opportunity for Egypt's renewal.

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