As soon as it was announced in March of 2015, Egypt’s plan to relocate its capital from Cairo to a plot of desert 28 miles east received a healthy dose of skepticism from critics at home and abroad.

With political turmoil dominating headlines and no shortage of economic suffering, Egypt’s issues, it seemed, were simply too significant to allow such a move. Last week, however, an unexpected source pushed the project toward completion: China. Reviving the two nations’ shared centuries-old history, dating back to the Silk Road, several…