China hopes for quick stability in Egypt
China's Foreign Ministry on Monday said it hoped Egypt would quickly restore social stability, as the Chinese government continued to censor searches for Egypt on two major micro-blogging websites, dpa reported.
"China is closely watching the development of the situation in Egypt," ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.
"Egypt is a friendly nation of China. We hope Egypt can quickly restore social stability and normal order," Hong said.
Authorities continued to censor search results for Egypt on the popular Sina.com and Sohu.com micro-blogging sites in an apparent effort to curb online discussion of the protests in Egypt.
State media have reported the protests in Egypt but have focussed on the violence of the protesters rather than their cause.
The government routinely censors Chinese-based websites and blocks access by the country's estimated 450 million internet users to many overseas websites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and human rights and news sites.
But thousands of rights activists and other Chinese citizens gain access to Twitter and other blocked websites via proxy servers.
Well-known rights lawyer Teng Biao last week responded to a Twitter post by writer Ling Cangzhou discussing a wave of protests reaching Egypt after unrest in Tunisia and Lebanon.
"All the way east! Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Myanmar, Vietnam, West Korea (China), North Korea!" Teng wrote.
China's ruling Communist Party has promised gradual democratic reforms and greater social freedom under continued one-party rule.
The Foreign Ministry on Sunday warned Chinese citizens against travel to Egypt and urged those already in Egypt to stay away from protests and take care of their personal security.
A special flight left Cairo on Monday to evacuate Chinese citizens from Egypt, state media said.