Sisi to the Chinese Media: We look forward to developing strategic relations

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Xinhua News agency on Thursday that Egypt looks forward to developing strategic relations with Beijing and looks up to China and its history of successful development.

“China adopts balanced policies and does not interfere in the affairs of other countries,” he said. “This is the reason for its success.”
President Sisi is visiting China on 23 December for the first time since he was elected.
“I think the whole world respects the wonderful Chinese experience,” he said.
Addressing the Chinese people, he said, “You have accomplished the impossible in the last forty years. We would like to cooperate with you at the highest levels and take up your experience, for the relationship between Egypt and China allows it. The industrial and human experience of China is very useful to the whole world.”
Sisi said the objective of his visit is to attract Chinese investments in various fields. “We have the strategic geographical location and China has the industrial power,” he said. 
“Our relations with any state should not be at the expense of another. China gives a good example of this. Their relationship with all countries of the world is one of collaboration and cooperation for common interests,” he said. 
“We reassure Chinese investors that we have real opportunities and the right climate for their investments to succeed,” he said. “So let’s work together.”
He pointed out that the new unified investment law aims to restore the confidence of investors, whether they Egyptians, Arabs or foreigners. “There were concerns about investment in Egypt, but we reassure that it is secure and stable because we as a state respect our contracted obligations,” he said.
On the Chinese President's initiative to revive the Silk Road, Sisi said any initiative that aims at development and construction is good. “We encourage it and look forward to cooperating with China in it,” he said.
He explained that Egypt is currently building a huge road network of 3,400 km in one year, along with the new Suez Canal project. “This means trade from China and Southeast Asia will have great opportunities, especially since the transit time in the Suez Canal will be less than three hours, if not zero,” he said.
“China can help us provide navigation and supply services to ships,” he said.
Regarding the impact of the situation in Egypt on foreign policy, Sisi said the revolution was an internal matter that did not affect the relationship with China or any other country.
He added that Egypt adopts a balanced policy. “We believe in peace as a strategic option and in dialogue as a strategy,” he said. “Egypt is ready to contribute to all efforts that achieve stability and peace in the region. We share the peacekeeping forces in most of the United Nations missions.”
“We do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” he added. “That is why many countries in the region ask for our mediation because they know that we are a neutral and keen on peace.”
He said the Egyptians are aware of the dangers of terrorism and extremism. “In the seventies and eighties we alerted the world to pay attention to terrorism,” he said. “Political Islam came to power after the 25 January revolution. But only a year later, the Egyptians rejected it on 30 June. Tourism was affected significantly by terrorist operations, but now stability and security continues.”
On the economy, Sisi said the government aims for a 7 percent growth rate in a few years. “A country the size of Egypt cannot have a growth rate of 3 or 4 percent,” he said.
“If China focuses on Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia that have a total population of 200 million people, China’s growth rate will increase,” he said. “Mind you, these are but three countries in Africa.”
“Egypt is a gateway to the Arab region, Africa and Europe. And China has a strong opportunity to cooperate with us in various fields once the new Suez Canal project is completed in August,” he said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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