China has strongly opposed “foreign interference” in Egypt's internal affairs, saying Egyptians should decide about their fate themselves.
"China holds that Egypt's affairs should be decided independently by the country without foreign interference," Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying during a news conference in Beijing on Thursday.
He added that Egypt is a major Arab and African country and its stability affects peace and stability in the whole region.
The remarks come as Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has criticized Washington over interference in his country's affairs.
He accused the United States of seeking to force its will on Egypt.
On Thursday, thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered in Cairo as well as other cities for the 17th consecutive day, chanting anti-government slogans, a Press TV correspondent reported.
The embattled Egyptian government has also extended a night-time curfew in an attempt to curtail massive demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak.
A curfew that had been set at 8 p.m. for several days was pushed forward to 4 p.m. on Thursday to prevent many workers from attending rallies after work hours.
Fresh clashes are likely to erupt tonight as Egyptian protesters are expected to defy the new curfew hours.
Egypt's main opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, has called Friday the “Day of Massive Protest March,” saying the planned massive demonstration aims to force Mubarak to step down.
The movement has noted that some 30,000 security forces will be deployed to prevent any pro-democracy protests in Cairo's Liberation Square.
According to the United Nations, more than 300 people have been killed and thousands of others injured since the flare-up of protests against the Mubarak regime late last month.