By Tan Jian, Chinese language Ambassador to Ethiopia

The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted the sternest stoop in nearly a century and is posing huge hurt on the socio-economic lifetime of the worldwide inhabitants. On March 20, 2020, the World Well being Group (WHO) has introduced 4 mega international trials dubbed as SOLIDARITY in a bid to struggle in opposition to COVID-19 pandemic.   

As a part of the worldwide efforts, on June 17, the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity In opposition to COVID-19 was held whereas the worldwide battle in opposition to corona virus is at a crucial second.

This Summit was a joint initiative between China, South Africa in its capability because the Chair of the African Union (AU), and Senegal because the Co-Chair of the Discussion board on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Chinese language President, Xi Jinping chaired the summit the place he gave a keynote speech entitled “Defeating COVID-19 with Solidarity and Cooperation”.

The Summit was attended by African leaders together with Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, and Chairperson of the AU Fee, Moussa Faki.

United Nations Secretary-Normal, Antonio Guterres and World Well being Group (WHO), Director-Normal Dr. Tedros Adhanom had been invited as Particular Visitors to the Summit.

The leaders had an in-depth change of views and reached in depth consensus on supporting Africa’s COVID-19 response and strengthening China-Africa and worldwide cooperation in opposition to the virus. The Summit issued a joint assertion which displays the widespread place of China and Africa on a sequence of main points.

As complete strategic and cooperative companions, China and Africa have granted help to one another and fought shoulder to shoulder within the face of COVID-19, setting a high quality instance for worldwide cooperation in opposition to the virus and elevating China-Africa ties to a brand new peak.

President Xi said that China and Africa would keep dedicated to combating COVID-19 collectively, enhancing cooperation, upholding multilateralism and taking their friendship ahead. The necessary affect and far-reaching significance of this Summit will probably be long-lasting.

First, the Summit additional promoted China-Africa solidarity in opposition to COVID-19. On the Summit, Chinese language and African leaders agreed to step up joint efforts to fight the illness and construct a China-Africa neighborhood of well being for all.

China and Africa are good mates, good companions and good brothers, striving collectively alongside the shared street for prosperity and higher life. China despatched its first medical staff to Africa as early as in 1963.

Till now, China has offered medical assist to greater than 50 African international locations. When the Ebola epidemic broke out in West Africa in 2014, China was the primary nation to ship emergency reduction supplies and funding and ship over 1000 public well being consultants and medical professionals to offer medical help to African individuals residing within the affected areas.

Lately below the framework of Discussion board on China-Africa Cooperation, China-African collaboration in well being space was built-in into the 10 cooperation plans between China and Africa introduced in 2015 and the eight main initiatives for China-Africa cooperation declared in 2018.

For the reason that outbreak of COVID-19, China and African international locations have stood by one another by means of thick and skinny. On the peak of China’s battle in opposition to the virus, African international locations supplied their invaluable ethical and materials help.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed despatched two letters of solidarity to President Xi Jinping and held a telephone dialog, which displays the deep-rooted fraternity and mutual help outlined by the Complete Strategic Cooperative Partnership between China and Ethiopia.

When Africa was challenged by the outbreak, China initiated the broadest Africa-oriented humanitarian emergency response ever for the reason that founding of the Individuals’s Republic of China.

The federal government, enterprises and social teams of China have mobilized swiftly and arranged big quantity of medical help to over 50 African international locations (together with Ethiopia) and the AU, greater than 30 video conferences with Chinese language medical consultants, and practically 400 coaching periods for African medical professionals.

China has additionally despatched medical knowledgeable groups totaling 148 individuals to 11 African international locations, amongst which Ethiopia is without doubt one of the first 2 locations receiving the staff.

As President Xi mentioned, China has and can proceed to do no matter it could actually to help Africa’s response to COVID-19. China will proceed to assist African international locations by offering provides, sending knowledgeable groups.

China will begin forward of schedule the development of the Africa CDC headquarters in Addis Ababa, the political capital of Africa this yr.

China affirmed to work with Africa to totally ship the well being care initiative adopted on the FOCAC Beijing Summit, and velocity up the development of China-Africa Friendship Hospitals and the cooperation between paired-up Chinese language and African hospitals.

China pledged that after the event and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is accomplished in China, African international locations will probably be among the many first to profit.

Second, the Summit additional demonstrated the sturdy mutual help underpinning the China-Africa relations. Inside the FOCAC framework, China will cancel the debt of related African international locations within the type of interest-free authorities loans which can be on account of mature by the top of 2020.

For these African international locations which can be hardest hit by the coronavirus and are below heavy monetary stress, China will work with the worldwide neighborhood to provide them better help, by such means as additional extending the interval of debt suspension, to assist them tide over the present issue.

China encourages Chinese language monetary establishments to answer the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and to carry pleasant consultations with African international locations based on market ideas to work out preparations for business loans with sovereign ensures.

To cushion the impression of COVID-19, it will be significant for China and Africa to strengthen Belt and Highway cooperation and speed up the follow-ups to the FOCAC Beijing Summit. Higher precedence must be given to cooperation on public well being, financial reopening, and folks’s livelihood.

China may also work with the UN, WHO and different companions to help Africa’s response to COVID-19, primarily based on the respects for the need of Africa. China helps Africa in its effort to develop the African Continental Free Commerce Space and to reinforce connectivity and strengthen industrial and provide chains.

China will discover broader cooperation with Africa in such new enterprise types as digital financial system, good metropolis, clear power, and 5G.

Third, the Summit additional boosted international confidence in an early victory in opposition to the virus. Lately, multilateralism is dealing with headwinds, and a few nation makes an attempt to politicize the virus, specializing in smearing China quite than curbing home outbreak, which undermined WHO-led international response to COVID-19.

China and Africa have voiced their vibrant name of justice, urging the worldwide neighborhood to firmly uphold multilateralism, to joint help for the main function of the UN and WHO within the international response to COVID-19, and harassed the necessity to oppose politicizing and labeling COVID-19 and keep away from racial discrimination and ideological bias.

African leaders recommended President Xi’s honest help to Africa’s COVID-19 response and dedication to the life and well being of the Chinese language and African individuals.

As identified by some taking part leaders, in contrast to those that solely pay lip service, China genuinely thought for Africa and had supplied honest assist to Africa. It contributed so much to Africa’s struggle in opposition to the illness and spearheaded worldwide anti-epidemic cooperation.

The necessary consensus reached on the Summit, in step with the pattern of the occasions, will assist promote international response to the virus, safeguard the widespread pursuits of China and Africa and the whole growing world, and uphold multilateralism and worldwide fairness and justice.

As a message of unity and cooperation to bolster worldwide confidence in defeating the virus, China hosted the Excessive-level Video Convention on Belt and Highway Worldwide Cooperation with the theme of “Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity” on 18 June 2020.

As one of many few representatives from Africa, Overseas Minister Gedu attended this convention and delivered a speech. Chinese language State Councilor and Overseas Minister Wang Yi harassed that the outbreak had quite highlighted the sturdy resilience and vitality of Belt and Highway cooperation than reversed its momentum.

We must always promote the joint growth of a “Silk Road of Health”, take excellent care of international nationals like our personal, and supply well timed medical service to and defend these working for the Belt and Highway and different cooperation tasks.

We have to harness new industries and enterprise fashions rising in the middle of COVID-19 response, strengthen cooperation in 5G, huge information, synthetic intelligence, and cloud computing, and push ahead the constructing of the digital Silk Highway.

We should keep dedicated to an open world financial system, defend the multilateral buying and selling system, and improve commerce and funding liberalization and facilitation, in an effort to foster a extra open, inclusive and balanced financial globalization that advantages all.

The battle in opposition to COVID-19 acts like a mirror, reflecting the lengthy lasting China-Africa relations and the consolidated China-Africa friendship. Prime Minister Abiy said: “Building on our existing partnership is key as we work to overcome the pandemic induced threats to our health & economic systems”.

With joint efforts aiming at a China-Africa neighborhood of well being for all, the problem posed by the pandemic may be reworked into the chance for cooperation, develop wider area for constructing a better China-Africa neighborhood with a shared future. After a storm comes a rainbow. China-Africa cooperation and friendship will interact stronger after COVID-19!

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