Keynote Speech by Amb. Liu Yuxi at the China-Africa Webinar on Solidarity Against COVID-19
11 August 2020
Honorable Madam Songwe, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa,
Honorable Mr. Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of AU Commission,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to attend this webinar. Thank UNECA for co-sponsoring this meeting with our Mission. Thank AUC for its important support.
Mankind is experiencing the worst global public health emergency since the end of World War II. In the face of this pandemic of the century, the people of China and Africa have been helping and supporting each other, and pulling together in times of difficulties. We have shown rock steady brotherhood and magnificent unity. We always bear this in mind that at the most tough time for China’s fight against pandemic, the AU and African countries sent valuable support and provided financial and material assistance to China while they were in difficulties themselves. After the outbreak in Africa, China took the lead to render assistance and stood firmly with the African people. China has sent anti-pandemic medical expert teams to 11 African countries, dispatched material assistance to African countries and the African Union, held expert video conferences with the African side and carried out diagnostic and technical exchanges without reservation. China actively advocates the international community to increase its support for anti-pandemic in Africa. “Support Africa” has always been the keywords of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speeches at G20 Special Summit and the 73rd WHO Meeting.
Ladies and gentlemen,
At present, the pandemic is still spreading and raging through the world, seriously threatening people’s lives and health. At the same time, “political viruses” such as rumors, defamation and stigmatization are also spreading all over the world, and the setbacks of isolationism, unilateralism, and populism are restoring. More than ever, China and Africa need to show unity and strengthen cooperation. Under the situation that the global anti-pandemic efforts have entered the critical stage and the multilateral system has been severely impacted, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Africa’s President H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa as the Chair of AU and Senagal’s President H.E. Macky Sall as the Co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) initiated the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19. Eleven African countries’ leaders as well as the AUC chairperson, Secretary-General of the UN and Direct-General of WHO attended. All parties exchanged in-depth views and reached broad consensus on supporting African anti-pandemic and promoting China-Africa and global anti-pandemic cooperation. It delivers the international community a strong message of the times on China-Africa solidarity and cooperation.
First is to make greater contributions to global solidarity against COVID-19. Mankind is a community of shared future. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons to defeat the pandemic. At this summit, China and Africa jointly issued a strong voice of our time to adhere to solidarity and cooperation and to defend international fairness and justice. We stressed firm support for multiculturalism, opposing unilateralism and firmly safeguarding the international system with the UN as the core of leadership; China and Africa highly appraised and actively supported the WHO to play a leading and coordinating role in responding to the pandemic around the world, under the leadership of Director-General Dr. Tedros, and opposed the politicization of the pandemic and labeling the virus. We also emphasized the importance of global cooperation and called on the international community to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to jointly contain and ease the pandemic.
Second is to inject inexhaustible momentum for China and Africa to work together to fight the pandemic. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a series of new measures to support African anti-pandemic actions at this summit, covering material assistance, material procurement, medical expert teams dispatch, hospitals construction, vaccine development and use and extension of debt relief period. China will work with the African side to implement the “Health Action” within the framework of the FOCAC and jointly build a China-Africa community of health. The Chinese side will start the construction of the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention ahead of schedule to help Africa to improve capacities of disease prevention and control and sustainable development. China’s support for Africa’s anti-pandemic measures are indeed real and practical, which meet the urgent needs of Africa’s anti-pandemic efforts and will definitely help Africa to defeat the pandemic as soon as possible.
Third is to chart the course for promoting China-Africa cooperation. At present, while fighting against the pandemic, China and Africa are also facing the arduous task of stabilizing the economy and safeguarding people’s livelihood. As the pandemic becomes normal situation, China and Africa need to accelerate the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and promote the realization of sustainable development in Africa. The Summit clearly proposed to strongly support the setting up of the African Continent Free Trade Area (ACFTA), the speeding up of the exchange and cooperation on digitization, information and communication technologies, specially tel-medicine, tel-education, 5G and big data, which points out a new direction of development for the China-Africa practical cooperation in the post-pandemic era. We are also willing to work with Africa to build it with high quality, and to build the “Belt and Road” into a road of cooperation to meet the challenges in unity, a road of health to safeguard the health of the people, a road of recovery to promote economic and social recovery and a road of growth to release development potentials.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the FOCAC. Over the past 20 years, China-Africa practical cooperation in various fields has continuously made new progress, and China-Africa high-level exchanges and mutual political trust have continuously reached new heights. China has been Africa’s largest trading partner over the past 11 years. China-Africa economic and trade cooperation has provided a strong momentum for Africa’s sustained economic growth. China and Africa have always been supporting each other on issues involving each other’s core interests and jointly safeguarding the fundamental interests of China and Africa as well as those of the developing countries. China supports African countries in exploring a development path that suits their national conditions, and opposes interference of external forces in Africa’s internal affairs. The African side supports China’s position on the Taiwan and Hong Kong issues and supports China’s efforts to safeguard national security in Hong Kong in accordance with the law.
For decades, no matter how the international situation changed, China-Africa friendship has always remained unshaken, carried on from generation to generation and stood the test. I firmly believe that while China and Africa fighting side by side and working together, we will surely be able to step out of the darkest period in human history and usher in a bright future for the common development and progress of China and Africa.
Wish this webinar a complete success!