The Chinese government will provide Egypt with the second batch of the Sinopharm vaccine, to help the latter face the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the country’s Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang has said.
Liqiang noted that the provision marks China’s keenness to support Cairo, and follows on from the first batch of vaccines that arrived on 22 February.
The second batch is set to contain an estimated 300,000 doses, with Liqiang adding that China has encouraged its companies to sell the vaccines in the quantities that Egypt needs.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Ambassador Liqiang said that China is determined to fulfil the promise of its President Xi Jinping to provide vaccines to Egypt.
He said that cooperation has strengthened since the beginning of the pandemic, and elaborated that the Egyptian and Chinese presidents are working on bilateral cooperation.
The Ambassador further noted that Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was the first president to provide support to China. In return, China was the first country to share its experience of combating the pandemic with Cairo.
Liqiang said that Chinese companies in Egypt have conducted the last phases of clinical trials in cooperation with the North African country, and that Egypt was among the first countries to receive vaccine doses.
Additionally, China is working to encourage more of its companies to invest in Egypt, especially infrastructure, productive energy, science, and technology, he added.
Liqiang highlighted that cooperation between Egypt and China is currently underway as part of the New Administrative Capital (NAC) project and the production of cars with new energy.
The ambassador said the historical ties between the two countries started 1956, when Egypt established diplomatic relations with China and encouraged many countries to follow in their footsteps.
He said that in 2014, the two countries signed full strategic agreement, so that cooperation and partnership would be strengthened over the following years. The ambassador added that the Egyptian and Chinese presidents have met nine times to form a personal friendship.
He added that under the leadership and personal planning of Chinese and Egyptian presidents, there are many major projects that China is working on in Egypt, such as urban and railway construction projects, the new city of El Alamein as well as the Belt and Road Initiative and Egypt’s Vision 2030.
The Chinese ambassador stressed that the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), which includes the Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA) involves 96 Chinese companies and employs about 4,000 Egyptians.
During a recent phone conversation between President Xi Jinping and President Al-Sisi, the Chinese Premier assured his Egyptian counterpart that Egypt is the first Arab and African country to have diplomatic relations. He added that Cairo is a model for relations, as it is a friend and a strategic partner and has a pivotal diplomatic role.
For his part, Al-Sisi expressed his congratulations for the centenary of the founding of China’s Communist Party, and stressed the bond between the two countries.
“The Chinese president supports projects in Egypt and is ready to promote these projects to promote comprehensive strategic relations between the two countries to a higher level,” Ambassador Liqiang disclosed.
He noted that President Al-Sisi stressed Egypt’s support for Chinese efforts to protect its sovereignty, security and independence. This support extended to the non-interference of other countries in the country’s internal affairs.