By People’s Daily
On the evening of June 17, Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19 in Beijing, where he gave a keynote speech entitled “Defeating COVID-19 with Solidarity and Cooperation.”
In his speech, Xi highlighted that in the face of COVID-19, China and Africa have offered mutual support and fought shoulder to shoulder with each other and enhanced solidarity and strengthened friendship and mutual trust.
Meanwhile, he put forth a series of important initiatives and proposals to promote anti-epidemic and pragmatic cooperation between China and Africa, and announced that China will continue to do whatever it can to support Africa’s response to COVID-19.
At the special summit held by Chinese and African leaders in the global fight against COVID-19, parties involved had in-depth exchange of views and reached extensive consensus on supporting Africa’s COVID-19 response and strengthening China-Africa and international cooperation against the virus.
The summit issued a joint statement, which reflected the common position of China and Africa on a series of major issues and sent to the international community a strong message of China-Africa solidarity and cooperation.
At such a critical moment in the global fight against COVID-19, the summit came at the right time, and its important influence and far-reaching significance will be long-lasting.
China and Africa are good friends, good partners and good brothers with shared destiny and vision. In the face of COVID-19, the worst global public health emergency since the end of World War II, China and Africa have withstood the test of a severe challenge.
China shall always remember the invaluable support Africa gave it at the height of its battle with the coronavirus. In return, when Africa was struck by the virus, China was the first to rush in with assistance and has since stood firm with the African people.
China has provided medical assistance for African countries and the African Union (AU) in batches, sent medical expert teams to Africa, and organized video conferences for exchanges between Chinese and African experts.
It also called on the international community to give stronger support to African countries and actively participate in G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).
The solidarity and cooperation between China and Africa mirror the China-Africa community with a shared future and provide a new benchmark for international anti-epidemic cooperation.
COVID-19 is still affecting many parts of the world. Both China and Africa face the formidable task of combating the virus while stabilizing the economy and protecting people’s livelihoods. Closer cooperation between China and Africa is needed.
Xi stressed that China and Africa must always put the people and their lives front and center and do whatever it takes to protect people’s lives and health.
He also proposed that China and Africa should stay committed to fighting COVID-19 together, enhancing China-Africa cooperation, upholding multilateralism and taking China-Africa friendship forward.
Together, China and Africa will jointly build a China-Africa community of health for all and an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.
The proposition of Xi demonstrates the firm determination of the two sides to defeat COVID-19 with solidarity and cooperation, points the way forward for epidemic response and practical cooperation between China and Africa, charts the course for the future of China-Africa relations, and unleashes strong, positive energy for the international community to secure an early victory against COVID-19 through solidarity and cooperation.
China will stand firm with the African people in the fight against the coronavirus. It will continue to help African countries by providing supplies, sending expert teams and speeding up the construction of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters this year.
China pledges that once the development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit.
On the basis of implementing the DSSI, China will give greater support to those African countries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress.
To cushion the impact of COVID-19, it is important to strengthen Belt and Road cooperation and accelerate the follow-ups to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit, according to Xi, adding that greater priority needs to be given to cooperation on public health, economic reopening, and people’s livelihood.
China will explore broader cooperation with Africa in such new business forms as digital economy, smart city, clean energy, and 5G to boost Africa’s development and revitalization.
The fact that China sticks together with Africa in collaboration in fighting against COVID-19 fully demonstrates China’s commitment to its longstanding friendship with Africa. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China shall never waver in its determination to pursue greater solidarity and cooperation with Africa.
The epidemic is the common enemy of all mankind. Xi pointed out that in the face of COVID-19, solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon.
Applauding Xi’s remarks, African leaders noted that in the face of the virus, no country is superior to others or can beat it alone. Only when humanity works in solidarity and collaboration and respects each other can the disease be ultimately defeated.
China and Africa called on the international community to uphold the UN-centered global governance system, support WHO in making greater contribution to the global COVID-19 response and oppose politicization and stigmatization of COVID-19, and racial discrimination and ideological bias.
The important consensus reached at the summit, in keeping with the trend of times, will help promote global response to the virus, safeguard the common interests of China and Africa and the entire developing world, and uphold international equity and justice.
“I am convinced that humanity will ultimately defeat the virus, and that the Chinese and African people are poised to embrace better days ahead,” Xi noted.
The summit, held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, was described as efficient, pragmatic, productive and highly successful and wrote a new chapter in China-Africa relations.
It is believed that emerging from the test of COVID-19, the bond between China and Africa will only become stronger and China-Africa friendship will strike deeper roots.
China will work with Africa to follow through on the outcomes of the summit, do their part in the international cooperation against COVID-19, and bring more benefits to the people of both sides and the whole world.