The Chinese government on Sunday gave Egypt its first official stamp of approval for the independence day commemorating the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The move comes after Beijing has expressed deep concern about what it sees as Egyptian efforts to undermine China’s interests in the region and beyond.
China’s State Council spokesman said the decision was a good step.
The announcement comes after China’s ambassador to Egypt, Wang Yi, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy visited Beijing on Saturday, a day after the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government.
Fahmy also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
In a statement Sunday, Fahmy said Egypt had made a “courageous decision” to honor the occasion, which he described as a “great occasion.”
China is Egypt’s largest trading partner, accounting for about $5.2 billion in bilateral trade last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “
This will also serve to strengthen our ties with Egypt.”
China is Egypt’s largest trading partner, accounting for about $5.2 billion in bilateral trade last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China is also Egypt’s most important investor and is Egypt the second-largest foreign investor in the United States, with $1.7 billion in 2016, according the U.S. Treasury Department.
Egypt has long been the world’s largest economy, but its economy has contracted since the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak, who was ousted after mass protests that ousted his brother, Mohamed, in 2013.
After the ousting of the Brotherhood government in 2013, Egypt was placed under a one-year “national reconciliation” mandate, which allowed the military to assume more control of key institutions.
The ouster led to a series of power-sharing deals that led to Egypt’s transition to a democracy in 2016.
The country is now under a U.N.-mandated unity government led by Egypt’s military, which is also seeking to lead a transition to democracy.
In the wake of the ousters, China has been stepping up support for the Arab Spring uprisings, backing the Arab League-backed governments in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, as well as the Arab World’s biggest opposition group, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
China has also been a key backer of the Egyptian government’s economic reforms, including its reform of the labor market and a planned overhaul of the country’s tax code, which it has not yet implemented.