China Promises to Help Africa Fight Covid 19
China has promised to help African countries overcome the shock of the Covid 19 pandemic and the effects of global warming while refraining from imposing its will on Africa.
Chinese Foreign Affairs minister Wang Yi made this promise during a China-Africa Cooperation forum on Tuesday.
“Vaccination is progressing in the world, but Africa suffers from an immunity gap with an immunisation rate below 5th of the world average, this is an extremely unfair and unreasonable situation, which we must immediately put an end to.
African leaders however challenged the Chinese government for a more balanced trade and beneficial business relationship with Africans to improve on the African economy.
“The cooperation between China and Africa is dynamic cooperation wanted and accepted by all our States and shared by our respective people. The second thing this means is that we, the African and Chinese governments, are aware of our responsibility, FOCAC being our common asset, to persevere, to continue to deepen, to widen this cooperation.” Aissata Tall Sall, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal stated.
China has faced criticism for using debts owed by African states, particularly to finance major infrastructure, to increase its influence over countries unable to meet their commitments. It is also criticized for its social and environmental practices.
– “Historical injustices” –
“China refrains from interfering in the search by African countries for a development path adapted to their national conditions, from interfering in their internal affairs, from imposing its will on Africa,” the text says. It advocates “the settlement of African issues (by) African solutions.
Amid diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington, whose Secretary of State was on a tour of Africa and Senegal a few days ago, the African countries, for their part, “reiterate their commitment to the principle of one China,” according to which Taiwan and mainland China are part of one China.
“Issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet are internal affairs of China,” they said.
The text opposes a “politicization” of human rights and speaks out “against the politicization of sports activities,” while U.S. President Joe Biden said he was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022, a possibility that has angered China.
On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping, participating in the Forum from a distance, promised Africa a billion doses of vaccines against Covid, in the form of donations or support for local production, to fill the “vaccine gap” accused by the continent.
He announced dozens of projects on the continent in the areas of health but also digital or security, as well as debt cancellation and the reallocation to African countries of 10 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund.
In the final declaration of the Forum, Beijing joins the demands of many African leaders: lifting of intellectual property rights on vaccines against Covid that must be accessible to all, call to the UN to correct the “historical injustices” done to African countries in terms of representation in the Security Council, relief of African debt.