Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Egyptian counterpart Prime Minister Ahmed Nazef on Saturday night attended a gala performance before the Great Pyramids to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
The two leaders joined in an audience of some 1,000 Egyptians and Chinese for the show called "Hand in Hand."
The performance was jointly sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Egypt, the China Central Television Station (CCTV) and Egyptian state TV Channel One.
Prior the beginning of the gala performance, Wen and Nazef made their speeches.
Wen said that the Sino-Egyptian ties opened a new chapter 50 years ago when the two countries came together in the historical trend of national liberation and development, and Egypt was the first Arab and African nations to establish diplomatic ties with New China founded in October 1949.
He said that the Sino-Egyptian strategic cooperation has born plentiful fruits as political relations between the two nations have became increasingly close and bilateral cooperation in economic, cultural and educational aspects has been steadily enhanced.
Nazef said that both Egypt and China valued highly of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties, which could be seen as not only an opportunity to hold some celebration activities, but also an opportunity to push forward with bilateral cooperation on all aspects.
Performers from the two countries entertained the audience with Chinese and Egyptian songs and dances.
The audience was inebriated when a Chinese women band of folk music played a tune called Jasmine Beside the Nile, which was specially composed for the occasion.
The "Hand in Hand" show was created by CCTV in order to enhance communications between China and the rest of the world as well as between Chinese in homeland and overseas Chinese.
Since its debut in 1997, such a kind of show has been held in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, France, India and Argentina.
China and Egypt officially declared the establishment of diplomatic relations on May 30, 1956, which made Egypt the first Arab and African country to forge diplomatic ties with China.
Wen arrived in Cairo Saturday afternoon on a two-day official visit to Egypt.
Egypt is the first leg of Wen's seven-nation visit to Africa, which will also take him to Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2006)