Chinese President Hu Jintao met in Beijing Thursday with visiting Egyptian defense minister, which was also the first time for Hu to meet foreign visitors as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Chinese Communist Party.
Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces and minister of National Defense and Military Production, conferred on the warm congratulation from Egyptian President Muhammed Hosni Mubarak to Hu on his taking the new position as military chief.
Hu succeeded Jiang Zemin as CMC chairman at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee, which concluded Sunday.
During the meeting with Tantawi, Hu said that China attaches importance to the role of Egypt in regional and international affairs, and will work with Egypt to further the strategic cooperation between the two countries and push forward bilateral military and state relations to a new height.
Hu spoke highly of the traditional friendship between China and Egypt, saying that the relationship has been tested by the time, has stood many changes in the world, and has kept developing steadily.
He expressed gratitude for the support of Egypt to China on the Taiwan and human rights issues.
Hu recalled his visit to Egypt early this year, and said that he has reached important consensus with President Muhammed Hosni Mubarak on enhancing the strategic and cooperative relations between the two countries during the visit. The Sino-Egyptian relations are developing vigorously and healthily, he said.
Tantawi said that Egypt and China have enjoyed a long-term friendly relationship, and their cooperation in various fields, including military exchanges, has developed continuously. He expressed appreciation for China's support and aid to Egypt.
Noting that military cooperation between the two countries is promising, he expressed his hope that the military relations between Egypt and China will be enhanced through his visit.
(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2004)