China's Hu congratulates Egypt's new president
AFP, Monday 25 Jun 2012
China welcomes Muslim Brotherhood's victory of Egypt's presidency saying Beijing supports the efforts of Cairo to maintain social stability, advance economic and social development

Chinese President Hu Jintao congratulated Mohamed Morsi Monday for his victory in Egypt's president election, saying Beijing respected the Egyptian people's choice.

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi, the country's first elected leader since a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak, won 51.73 percent of the vote against ex-premier Ahmed Shafiq in the highly divisive polls.

His victory marks the first time Islamists have taken the presidency of the Arab world's most populous nation, and is expected to usher in an era of cooler ties between Cairo and Washington.

"China congratulates Mr Morsi on being elected president of Egypt," state television quoted Hu as saying.

"China respects the choice of the Egyptian people for their political system and path of development.

"China supports the efforts of Egypt to maintain social stability and advance economic and social development."

The election came after 18 months of a tumultuous military-led transition from Mubarak's rule, marked by political upheaval and bloodshed.

While some feared a return to the old regime if Shafiq won, others wanted to keep religion out of politics, fearing that the Brotherhood will stifle personal freedom.