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China-Africa friendship emerges still stronger from COVID-19 test, says Chinese FM
2021/01/02

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here that the friendship between China and Africa emerged still stronger from the test of COVID-19 in 2020.

Wang made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua News Agency and China Media Group.

"With our shared identity as part of the developing world, China and Africa have the responsibility of advancing the interests of developing countries," he said.

Noting that China and Africa have always shared weal and woe, Wang said their friendship emerged still stronger from the test of COVID-19 in 2020. Chinese President Xi Jinping and African leaders had a successful Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, and the fine tradition of mutual assistance was further strengthened.

China has sent medical teams, paired up Chinese and African hospitals, provided much-needed medical supplies, and worked with Africa on vaccines, he said. The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters as an assistance project by China has just had its groundbreaking ceremony. It will stand as a historic witness of China-Africa solidarity in fighting the pandemic.

China and Africa have scaled up the implementation of follow-ups to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit, with the health care initiative as a top priority, Wang said, adding that China has signed debt service suspension agreements with 12 African countries and provided waivers of matured interest-free loan for 15 African countries. "China has suspended more debt service than any other G20 member.

"Twenty years ago, FOCAC entered a new era of political mutual trust and all-round cooperation between China and Africa. Wang said 20 years on, FOCAC has become a new model of friendship, cooperation and common development among developing countries.

"Together, we have drafted and implemented the 10 cooperation plans and the eight major initiatives. With China's help, over 6,000 kilometers of railways, 6,000 kilometers of roads, nearly 20 ports and over 80 large power plants have been built in Africa. Two-way trade has grown by 20-fold and China's direct investment in Africa 100-fold. We have expanded cooperation with Africa in new business forms like digital economy, smart city, clean energy and 5G, thus boosting high-quality development of Belt and Road cooperation between the two sides," he said.

Noting that China and Africa will have FOCAC meetings in Senegal in 2021, Wang said in this context, China will work with Africa on the three priority areas of vaccine cooperation, economic recovery and transformative development to build new consensus on solidarity, break new ground for cooperation, and deliver new benefits to the people.

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