Mohamed El Dahshan

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Aerial view of ongoing construction at Egypt's New Administrative Capital megaproject, 45 kilometres east of Cairo. Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images.

When Cairo dispatched its minister of health Hala Zayed along with some medical equipment to Beijing to express solidarity with China in its battle with COVID-19 back in March 2020, the Egyptian government was beaming with pride – both publicly and privately – having found an opportunity to show support to the country that ‘has been our ally and generous friend through the years, and stood by us in international forums’, in the words of one senior official.

Egypt was the first Arab and African country to establish direct diplomatic relations with the China in 1956 and, just weeks later, Beijing gave its first-ever foreign grant offering $4.5 million to Egypt during the Suez Crisis – a minute amount as far as international aid goes, but one full of symbolism.…  Seguir leyendo »