Egyptian ambassador to China: It's time to unite as human beings
By Wu Guoxiu

Egyptian Ambassador to China, Mohamed Elbadri, said Egypt has applied China's experience in its fight against COVID-19. He also said it's time for the world to work together to face this global health threat and economic recession.


Egypt-China cooperation to fight COVID-19

On March 2, Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed visited China with one million masks, which she called "gifts."  

In an interview with CGTN in Beijing on Thursday, Ambassador Elbadri said on-going cooperation between Egypt and China to fight COVID-19 has been very lucrative and positive.  

"When she was here, we laid the foundations for future cooperation when it comes to the methodology that China used to fight COVID-19, as well as the best practices used here in China. We have a communication going on between health ministries of the two countries," said Elbadri. 

"And of course, the Chinese leadership and people have reciprocated our good will gesture by also sending assistance to Egypt in this regard, masks, suits, many other things. We're in the process of delivering them to Egypt," he continued.

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A woman wearing a mask speaks on her phone as she shops for Ramadan lanterns ahead of the holy month, in the Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt, April 21, 2020. /AP

A woman wearing a mask speaks on her phone as she shops for Ramadan lanterns ahead of the holy month, in the Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt, April 21, 2020. /AP

China made a 'master success'

Elbadri spoke highly of China's efforts to contain the pandemic and the results.  

"I think this was a case of master success, how the Chinese government and the Party were able to control the spread of the pandemic, localize it, (and) control the localized areas," he said, adding that China is always ready to opt for a better practice if they find one. 

The ambassador said Chinese-invested companies in Egypt also made donations to the Egyptian government. 

China is a 'role model'

When it comes to pandemic control efforts and the situation in Egypt, Chinese experience helped a lot. 

"China was the role model for all of us to use the best practices in China and to start to sort of adapting it to our local environment. As an embassy, we have shipped immediately to Cairo all the best practices undertaken by the Chinese side. And this was very, very beneficial," said the ambassador. 

"The president designated the prime minister as the head of a crisis management group for COVID-19, and it was able to gather and mobilize all the resources in this regard," he added. "And in answer to your question, that's why so far in Egypt it is still controlled, and our numbers are very good. So far, I think we're around 3,650, which is quite good compared to comparatively speaking."


It's time to 'put our hands together'

With some Western politicians blaming China for the spread of the coronavirus, Elbadri urged the international community to work together to face down the threat of a recession. 

"Actually, it's in world politics," he said. "It usually happens across history. I'm not a scientist, so I don't think that my opinion is based on any kind of scientific evidence in this regard." 

"But now it is a threat to humanity as a whole. I think that the best way to look at it is how we are going to cooperate as human beings, not as nationals," he stressed. 

"The world has not witnessed something with such a big pandemic since the influenza in 1919 and 1920. We have to be very vigilant about it," he added. 

Noting that economies across the world are facing "massive slowdown," the diplomat said "it's time to put our hands together."

China's help to Africa 

The joint fight against the pandemic injected new life into China-Africa cooperation. Assessing that cooperation, the ambassador said China offered a lot of assistance to Africa in fighting the virus. 

"The Chinese government has given a lot of attention to the African continent," Elbadri underscored communication between the two sides during Egypt's presidency of the African Union. "China has offered a lot of assistance to African countries in this COVID-19 crisis, and it's very much appreciated, very very much appreciated."


Egyptians in Guangdong cared for by local authorities 

Some Western media and politicians have been hyping up pandemic control efforts in south China's Guangdong Province involving African citizens.  

Responding to this, the ambassador said, "Actually, we had a meeting with the Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong 12 days ago, with the African group ambassadors. We talked on this intensively. He assured us that everything is going to normalize in Guangdong Province, especially Guangzhou." 

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Elbadri told CGTN that the Egyptian community in Guangzhou has been taken good care of by local authorities since the embassy "opened the dialogue with our Chinese brothers." 

"We thank both the government here in Beijing and in Guangdong region for helping to alleviate all the pressures that have been undertaken on our community in Guangdong," he said.  

The ambassador said the pandemic is a challenge but also an opportunity. "It shows us who our friends are. It shows us that we need to be cooperative internationally," he said. "I think international relations will change dramatically after the pandemic."