Note: This column mainly includes countries along the Belt and Road and countries that have signed cooperation agreements with China on Belt and Road Initiative.

The Arab Republic of Egypt was the first Arab and African country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. In 2013, China-Egypt exchange and cooperation continued to grow in various fields.

The two countries maintained close political contact. In March, President Xi Jinping met with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy on the sidelines of the fifth BRICS Leaders' Meeting in Durban, South Africa. In July, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent messages of congratulation to Interim President Adly Mansour, Interim Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawi and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy on Egypt's national day. In July and August, Foreign Minister Wang and Foreign Minister Fahmy had two telephone conversations. In September, the two Foreign Ministers met at the margins of the general debate of the 68th UN General Assembly. In December, China's Special Envoy to the Middle East Wu Sike visited Egypt. In September, Assistant Foreign Minister Hisham Badr visited China. In December, Foreign Minister Fahmy visited China. He met Vice President Li Yuanchao and had talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. During these meetings, the Egyptian side talked about the situation in Egypt and affirmed its strategic choice to develop Egypt-China relations. The Chinese side stressed China's respect for Egyptian people's right to independently choose their political system and development path as well as China's commitment to developing its strategic and cooperative relations with Egypt.

The two countries witnessed sound growth in their economic and trade cooperation. In 2013, bilateral trade volume grew rapidly. In terms of energy cooperation, Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinopec, purchased some of the stakes of the assets owned by Apache Corporation of the US in Egypt. Cooperation between the two countries in projects such as the Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone made progress.

Exchanges and cooperation in health, culture, education and journalism between the two countries continued to grow. The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of State for Antiquities of Egypt sent representatives to participate in activities such as the China-Africa Ministerial Conference on Health Cooperation and Development, the Second China-Arab States University Presidents' Forum and the China-Arab States National Museum Curators' Forum. China and Egypt signed a number of cooperation agreements on the development of agricultural information network, high-quality hybrid rice and the prevention and treatment of schistosomiasis. China Taoist Orchestra was invited to the sixth International Festival for Choir and Spiritual Music in Egypt. Egyptian news media delegations and non-governmental diplomatic delegations visited China, which further strengthened media cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Editor: fanjunmei