China vows to defeat COVID-19 pandemic with African countries through close cooperation

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday said China would work with Africa to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the three objectives of his current visit to the continent.

During a meeting with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo in the Kenyan coastal city Mombasa, Wang noted China has a 32-year diplomatic tradition that the destinations of the first foreign visit at the beginning of the year must be African countries. The tradition shows with concrete actions that China cherishes its friendship with Africa, attaches priority to Africa in China's diplomacy, and is willing to be a good friend and partner of Africa.

"In spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, we have come here as scheduled, come rain or shine, and remain true to our original aspiration. This is the undertone of China-Africa friendship," said Wang, adding that "my visit to Africa has three main objectives."

"The first objective is to work with Africa to defeat the epidemic. The world is facing a new wave of the Omicron strain. As a friend of Africa, China will never stand idly by. Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that China will provide another 1 billion doses of vaccines to Africa, which is the largest aid package ever launched in Africa and is in progress. Vaccines are being shipped across the sea to every corner of Africa where they are needed."

"Today, we are announcing an additional 10 million doses of vaccine for Kenya. We will stand by our African brothers and sisters until the final victory is won," said Wang.

Second, the implementation of the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) should be accelerated. Over a month ago, the 8th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC was successfully held. President Xi announced "nine programs" for China-Africa practical cooperation.

The bilateral cooperation documents signed by China and Kenya today are the early harvest of the "nine programs" in Kenya, Wang said.

"We stand ready to enhance synergy with our African partners, roll up our sleeves and work hard to deliver all the outcomes of the conference to the benefit of the African people, help Africa speed up post-epidemic recovery and embark on the road of independent and sustainable development at an early date," he said.

The so-called "debt trap" in Africa is not a fact, but a hype with ulterior motives. It is a "speech trap" created by external forces who do not want to see Africa accelerate development. If there is any "trap" in Africa, it is the "poverty trap" and the "backwardness trap," according to Wang.

China is ready to work with all friendly countries to help African countries speed up post-pandemic recovery, eliminate poverty and backwardness, catch up with the times as soon as possible, achieve common development and create a better future.

Third, China and Africa should firmly uphold common interests. In the face of hegemony, bullies and unilateral acts, China and Africa have the responsibility to jointly practice true multilateralism and safeguard international fairness and justice.

China is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Africa in international and regional affairs, safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and basic norms governing international relations, safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries and make the international order more just and equitable.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo in Mombasa, Kenya, January 6, 2022. /Chinese Foreign Ministry)

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