Sino-Africa cooperation, based on the pursuit of mutual interest, has been injected with fresh vitality as the two sides join hands to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Wu Peng, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, said on Friday.
China and African countries have demonstrated sincere friendship by joining hands to fight the pandemic, Wu said in a commentary published on The Standard newspaper.
“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in China, many African countries including Kenya have provided material and spiritual support for China,” he said. “All these fully demonstrate our brotherly friendship in times of adversity.”
Both China and African partners share a similar vision of strengthening multilateralism and globalization as a prerequisite for overcoming challenges like climate change and infectious diseases, Wu said.
China is committed to supporting African countries overcome challenges linked to COVID-19, in line with the ethos of building a community of shared future for mankind, he said.
A white paper titled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action,” published recently by China’s State Council Information Office, has become a clarion call for solidarity with African countries to revitalize the war against the disease, Wu said.
The envoy singled out Kenya as a case study of solidarity and reciprocity to overcome challenges presented by a global pandemic.
“In Kenya, Chinese nationals from all walks of life are also working with their Kenyan friends to overcome difficulties,” he said.
Wu said donation of medical supplies and other basic necessities by the Chinese government, corporations and philanthropists has been timely as Kenya intensified efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resumption of direct cargo flights between China and Kenya has helped sustain bilateral trade during the pandemic, he said, adding that Beijing has supported Kenya’s quest to establish a robust manufacturing industry for high-quality face masks.
“Facing the most serious global public health emergency since the past century, no one can survive alone. Only with joint efforts will we be able to clinch the final victory,” Wu said.
He said the 73rd World Health Assembly, held virtually on May 18-19, set the stage for practical actions that China planned to undertake to help African countries overcome challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To help more people on the African continent, a cooperation mechanism will be established to pair up Chinese hospitals with their African counterparts, and the disease preparedness and control capacity of Africa CDC headquarters will be ramped up,” Wu said.
He said the June 17th Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 marked a milestone in practical cooperation between long-standing bilateral allies to help contain the pandemic.
“In President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech, he pledges that once the development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit,” Wu noted.
The extraordinary summit, chaired by Xi, was held on Wednesday via video link.