, BEIJING, Feb 12, 2011 – China on Saturday said it hoped to see a swift return to stability in Egypt after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down following more than two weeks of mass protests.
"China hopes that the latest development of the situation helps Egypt with the restoration of national stability and public order as soon as possible," spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.
"China has been closely paying attention to the development and changes of the situation in Egypt… Egypt is a friendly nation of China, (China) believes that China-Egypt relations can keep healthy and stable," he added.
Since the beginning of the protests in Egypt, China has called for a rapid return to stability while restricting media coverage of the nationwide revolt.
China\’s ruling Communist Party is wary of disturbances to public order overseas that may influence demands for political reform and democracy at home, and it has limited coverage of the protests online and in other media.
The official media on Saturday reported the news that Mubarak had stepped down, but glossed over details of the popular uprising and also emphasised the need to restore order.
Online discussion about the protests has been muffled since the turmoil began, in a sign that the unrest has worried Beijing.
China is extremely sensitive to any news involving social unrest and censors content seen as a potential challenge to the legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party.
China\’s leaders have faced mounting public discontent in recent years over political hot-button issues including persistent reports of abusive government officials, environmental damage and now surging inflation.