China’s top legislator Wu Bangguo toured a Chinese-Egyptian joint training aircraft project in Cairo on Sunday, a program which highlights the strength of Sino-Egyptian relations.
Wu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), visited the components and assembly workshops of Arab Organization for Industrialization’s (AOI) aircraft factory, lying to the south of Cairo in the suburb of Helawan.
Wu, who arrived on Sunday, posed for a photo opportunity with a new K-8E aircraft and quipped that Sino-Egyptian cooperation now soared in full wing.
He also met with Lieutenant General Hamdy Wahiba, President of the AOI, and discussed the production of the K-8E aircraft as set down between China and Egypt at the end of 1999. The initial agreement was to cooperatively manufacture 80 aircraft, build an aircraft localized production line, an aircraft research center and a comprehensive logistic safeguard system.
The first batch of 80 aircraft was completed on Dec. 11, 2005 but both sides had already decided on building a further 40 aircraft in November, 2004, with the production of six aircrafts already completed and 10 to be produced yearly within four years.
The Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) oversees nine military factories which produce civilian and military products. Originally a tripartite organization, the AOI is now solely run by Egypt after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates returned their AOI shares to Egypt in 1993, a move valued at US$1.8 billion.
Egypt is the first stop of Wu’s three-nation tour to Africa and Europe, during which he will also visit Hungary and Poland.