China Reacts To Morsi’s Fall
The widespread democracy protests in Egypt that accompanied the ousting of Mohammed Morsi from presidential office will both harden Beijing’s grip on power as well as draw its focus on economic interests in the Middle East, reports The South China Morning Post:
Zhang Lifan , a Beijing-based political commentator formerly with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Beijing may see the Egyptian situation as another argument for tightening its grip.
“A lesson provided by Egypt to the Chinese leadership is that they have to fully grab power,” Zhang said. “The economy is facing a downturn now and Beijing leaders will find it more urgent to maintain stability. Any loss of power may make them collapse.”
As in Egypt, the hard power in China lies with the military, answerable to the Communist Party, not the government.[Source]
The Wall Street Journal adds that China’s relationship with Egypt may also suffer after it had invested “substantial political capital” in Morsi:
The reality is, China may have just lost one of its closest allies in the region.
Following decades in which Egypt was firmly in Washington’s palm, the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 was seen as a key opportunity for China to boost ties with Egypt’s new regime. Mr. Morsi, on his first official trip outside the Middle East, visited Beijing in August 2012.
The symbolism of that trip – coming even before Mr. Morsi visited Washington – was stark, and raised eyebrows in some quarters over China’s efforts to curry greater influence in the region. It was widely seen as one of Beijing’s most aggressive moves in recent years to usurp some of the sway over the region traditionally exerted by the U.S.[Source]
Amid an Egyptian military coup, state media in China highlight how anti-government protests in Egypt have impacted on economic development and ordinary people’s livelihoods.
“A few years ago my business is great, but now there are few customers. It is better to have stability and development. China is a mirror worth emulating for Egypt. Without stability, Egypt has no future. Chinese-style stability is a goal that we should strive for,” the People’s Daily quotes an Egyptian grocer called Taufiq as saying.[Source]