By Zhong Sheng
China and Africa have reached wide consensus and great results at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 held on June 17, demonstrating their determination to defeat COVID-19 with solidarity and cooperation at such a crucial moment.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, has recently issued a statement, staining China’s commitment to Africa out of no reason and trying to impede China-Africa anti-epidemic cooperation.
For the mainstream media in the U.S., this clumsy trick of Pompeo was not a surprise. In fact, such accusations, which distort the truth, won’t change China-Africa cooperation no matter how they are repeated, and the farce will only make Pompeo and other U.S. politicians ridiculous trying to break the indestructible China-Africa relations.
True friends can withstand the test of severe challenges. In the face of COVID-19, China and Africa, which share the same outlook and destiny, have offered mutual support, fought shoulder to shoulder with each other and strengthened friendship and mutual trust.
China has always stood firmly with the African people. It has provided batches of medical assistance for Africa, sent over 10 medical teams to Africa, shared its experience in epidemic prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment, and announced a series of measures to support Africa’s response to COVID-19 and improve the public health capability of African countries.
Leaders of African countries have acknowledged that China has set a good example of assisting Africa amid the epidemic, which demonstrated once again with concrete efforts that China is a true friend and reliable partner of African countries in times of difficulties and challenges.
Although Pompeo has gone out of his way to spread a political virus against China, the African people have their own judgment. Peopeo’s lies and slanderous remarks about China couldn’t possibly stand in front of the fact that China and Africa have treated each other under the principle of equality and sought cooperation for mutual benefits.
Out of zero-sum thinking and the pursuit for political interest, Pompeo is doing everything to make up stories to stir things up. No wonder it is hard for an untrustworthy person like Pompeo to understand or accept the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith that China has adhered to and the values of friendship, justice and shared interests that China has upheld toward Africa.
It is evident to all that China-Africa investment and financing cooperation has played an active role in facilitating the development of Africa and improving the livelihood of the African people.
As pointed out by some leaders participating in the summit, unlike those who only pay lip service, China genuinely thought for Africa and had offered sincere help to Africa.
It is already recognized that China-Africa cooperation is for China to complement Africa’s development through its own growth. China has helped build a series of production projects and large-scale infrastructure projects at the request of African countries, which has greatly helped African nations get started with developing their economy and enhanced their capacity for independent development.
To cushion the impact of COVID-19 on African countries, China will give greater support to those African countries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and under heavy financial stress on the basis of implementing G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).
By politicizing the debt issue, Pompeo has used China-Africa cooperation as an excuse to assault China. As wicked as the attempt may be, it is doomed to fail.
For Africa, the financing from China is an essential choice, said W. Gyude Moore, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, adding that the “debt-trap diplomacy” reflects Western anxieties, not African realities.
In fact, African countries know perfectly who their true friend is. Dambisa Moyo, Zambian economist as well as author of Dead Aid, has conducted an in-depth analysis on the issues left by the traditional “donors” of Africa from the West and considered China’s investment the best hope for Africa to develop economy.
Pompeo has guided the U.S., for the first time since 1945, into utter irrelevance in dealing with a major global crisis. It is both sad and dangerous, to use Pompeo’s words, that he has so damaged the State Department’s reputation.
What Pompeo says and does always seem to be filled with negative energy, which completely disobeys his diplomatic responsibilities as well as the professional qualities and moral values of a U.S. chief diplomat as he is.
International justice cannot be challenged in any way, and any attempt to undermine China-Africa relations is shameful and doomed to fail. No one could undermine the great unity between the Chinese and African peoples. No one could hold back the Chinese people or the African people as they march toward rejuvenation. No one could deny the remarkable achievements made in China-Africa cooperation, not with their assumption or imagination. No one could stand in the way or obstruct international efforts to support Africa’s development.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)