The Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo held a seminar to give a full explanation of the China-proposed Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

The symposium was part of the monthly “China in the eyes of the Egyptians” cultural salon, which is organized by the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo.

The seminar, which was co-chaired by Chinese Cultural Counselor to Egypt Shi Yuewen and Al-Sawy Ahmad, founder of the Salon, witnessed a large attendance including the Chinese Ambassador to Cairo and a number of former Egyptian Ministers, diplomats and officials.

Speaking at the seminar, Essam Sharaf, former Egyptian Prime Minister and a committee member of the Silk Road NGO Cooperation Network, said that the initiative comes in line with the principle of “the common destiny of mankind.”

“The world is at a crossroads … it cannot continue under the ideas of isolationism, protectionism, populism and domination,” Sharaf said in his lecture, adding that the BRI is a platform for international cooperation.

The former Egyptian Prime Minister said China is currently working hard to improve the transport and communication networks in Africa through the establishment of road and rail networks to connect the African countries.

Proposed by China in 2013, the BRI refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

For his part, China’s Ambassador to Cairo Liao Liqiang praised the Egyptian-Chinese relations, describing them as historical relations that extend for nearly 3,000 years.

“I have visited many politicians in Egypt in the last two months since I took office as my country’s ambassador to Egypt and all of them agree on one thing: common development and the shared prosperity are the only way that leads us to a bright and prosperous world compatible with our dreams,” the Ambassador said.

Liao stressed that reliance on power or hegemony will not last long, pointing out that prosperity, harmony, peace and security are all concepts that should be enjoyed by all

The Ambassador noted that there are many joint projects between Egypt and China that provided many employment opportunities for Egyptian youths.

“As the ambassador of China to Egypt, I pledge that there will be more and more joint projects that bring prosperity to all,” he said.

The relations between Cairo and Beijing have witnessed a remarkable development since Egypt and China elevated bilateral relations to the level of the comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014.

Cairo considers itself one of the pivotal partners of China in the BRI, which contributes to the development of Egypt through massive infrastructure projects, implemented by Chinese companies in various Egyptian Governorates in many fields such as construction, energy, transport, trade and industry.

Trade exchange between China and Egypt hit a record high of 13.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, with an increase of Egyptian exports to China to reach 1.8 billion dollars for the first time, according to the Chinese embassy in Cairo.