Nice WSJ story on this seminal example of south-south ties.
The "bamboo network effect: Increase your trade with China and you increase your trade with China's network and the world at large.
But the trick for an Egypt: awfully hard to follow in China's wake, so you tend to import more from China than you sell it.
China's challenge: demographic aging means it needs to shift some portion of manufacturing (within overall processing trade network) to cheaper labor sites as China's labor gets more expensive.
Some of that shift China wants to direct inward to its interior provinces. Some will go to SE Asia, experiencing a big demo dividend. Some will go to India, which experiences an even bigger one. Some to Middle East - still more, and some to Africa - the biggest demo dividend out there.
You say it's international corps that will make all these decisions, and that's true, but increasingly those corps are Chinese. Plus, think about who's got the cash in the system for that FDI.
If you're developing and want to emerge in globalization today, you're reaching out to China - not the West.