Source: China State Council Information Office
Africa-China long-standing relations will remain intact because it was based on mutual respect and understanding in the wake of the COVID-19 despite many challenges arising from the pandemic, experts said.
Experts asserted that trade and other agreements between the two parts are bound to continue regardless of the challenges.
“There is nothing new. Pandemics or differences will come and go, but the Africa-China relations will remain, because they are built on sound principles and understanding,” said Professor Owen Sichone, a Zambian social scientist.
Sichone said that “diplomacy is a self-correcting mechanism and that is why countries invest in it and that Africa and China have done well in that regard.”
“Trade between Africa and China will continue; so will the scientific and cultural exchanges between the two, because they are part of their relations,” explained Sichone, who is also immediate past director at Copperbelt University Dag Hammarskjold Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.
Sichone was also quick to call on the international community to ensure that they invest in strengthening public health systems and prioritize human health, adding that ways of preventing or lessening the impact of disease outbreaks particularly contagious ones are there in the public domain.
“There is no mystery here; it is just that someone was caught unaware,” Sichone asserted.
Dawit Yirga, Director General of Asia and Oceania Affairs at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has said that “the support mobilized by the Chinese government and the private sector, including the Jack Ma Foundation, to assist the COVID-19 response efforts in Africa is very much appreciated.”
“Africa and China are all weather friends and the Sino-Africa strategic partnership has shown vitality and strength in this time of unprecedented challenges,” said Yirga.
“We are indeed very grateful to China for its support and solidarity at this difficult moment in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Yirga.
“Solidarity is indeed the bedrock of this (Africa-China) partnership and when the corona pandemic outbreak happened in China, Africa stood firmly in solidarity with China,” he added.
Yirga, expressing appreciation to the “leadership and commitment of the people and government of China in successfully containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” also stressed that “as COVID-19 spreads to across the globe,including in Africa, China is supporting the African continent.”
Noting China’s “commendable willingness” in sharing its successful experience by deploying medical teams in Ethiopian and other African countries, Yirga also expressed his confidence that the “Sino-Africa strategic partnership, which has passed the test of time, will once again prove its resilience.”
“China bears in mind that at the difficult moment in its fight to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, the AU and countries of Africa have rendered China support, and clearly opposed any attempt to politicize the epidemic and tagging the virus, which fully demonstrated the brotherly ties between China and Africa, who have shared weal and woe, and the high level of bilateral strategic cooperation,” said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier.
“Covid-19 is a global threat, affecting each and every inhabitant of planet earth, with zero regard for ethnicity, social status, wealth or any other of the various strata which have been contrived, over centuries, to set us apart from each other. Misguided assumptions with regard to the origin and the consequent attribution of blame take us nowhere, render a difficult situation even more challenging and impact negatively on relations between and amongst brotherly nations and peoples,” said Sibusiso Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, also commended the solidarity demonstrated to Africa by the Chinese government as well as Chinese companies and civil societies in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a very good example for all over the world that feel panic and blame is not the answer. The answer is organizations, countries, institutions, and governments bringing their resources together to team up to provide these kinds of medical supplies and medical equipment for the protection of the people. So, China’s move is a very good example,” said Gebremariam.