China-Africa friendship shines in joint efforts combating COVID-19

By Wang Zefei, People’s Daily
China and Africa share a profound friendship though they are thousands of miles apart, and this is once again proved by the two parties’ joint efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 16, two medical teams were dispatched by the Chinese government to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso respectively to help the two countries relieve the public health crisis. Many of the experts dispatched had joined the battle against the virus at home, and their trip this time, to the “battlefield” thousands of miles away, demonstrate the benevolence of the Chinese medical staff, the love transcending borders, and the close relation between China and Africa.
The virus respects no borders, and poses a challenge to mankind. It can only be defeated through concerted efforts of the international community.
This is not the first time for China to send medical workers to Africa. When Ebola was raging through the three West African countries, China was the first one rushing to the frontline to offer assistance, kicking off the largest humanitarian mission of the country as its founding over 70 years ago.
China and Africa are friends tested by adversity, and such a relationship must never be forgotten. The two countries have stood together in good days, and will also stick together in times of adversity. This is a fine tradition that has been followed by generations of people from the two sides, explaining the essence of China-Africa relationship.
As Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission said, “we are friends and, more importantly, comrades-in-arms. Our destinies are closely intertwined”.
China’s efforts to combat COVID-19 have also received strong supports from Africa. In the darkest hours, leaders and people of various African countries extended support to China, stressing on many occasions that their hearts were with the Chinese people.
Leaders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries that received China’s assistance in fighting Ebola, sent letters of sympathy to China at the first opportunity, saying that their countries would make all-out efforts to help China as the latter had done for them in the midst of Ebola.
Equatorial Guinea donated $2 million to China, or $2 from each citizen in the country. Comoros also won warm applause from China for its 100-euro donation as the small-cash contribution carried valuable friendship of the Indian Ocean island nation which is recognized by the United Nation as one of the world’s least developed countries.
The Ethiopian Students Union in Wuhan wrote an open letter in support of Wuhan and China, saying that they regarded the Chinese people as their beloved family members and Wuhan their second home. They also prayed for the Chinese people in the letter.
A Zimbabwean student in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region volunteered to serve the railway station in Yulin, saying he wanted to try his utmost to curb the spread of the disease.
The Chinese people felt for Africa when the novel coronavirusbroke out there, with the government, enterprises and people all lending a helping hand actively. For example, Alibaba Foundation and other institutions offered generous donations, and top Chinese experts organized video conferences with their African counterparts to share experiences.
All these practices were spontaneous, which implied that China-Africa friendship has been deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese people.
Rumors had recently been spread that some Africans are being discriminated against in China’s Guangdong, but were later clarified by many Africans that know the truth. China’s relations with Africa should by no means be defined by individual extreme rhetoric, and the general picture of the relations should by no means be misled by the ill-intentioned.
The Chinese medical workers going in harm’s way to assist Africa will inject new energy to unite the international community in COVID-19 response, and also write a new chapter of China-Africa friendship with which the two sides always offer mutual assistance through thick and thin.
China’s support for Africa to fight the pandemic not only reflects the major country’s sense of responsibilities, but also the essence of the brotherly friendship between the two sides.
Although China and Africa may encounter obstacles when forging ahead, they will always believe that their friendship is rock-solid and unbreakable, and no force can stop the Chinese and African people from moving ahead hand in hand.

At the invitation of the Ethiopian government, a medical team dispatched by the Chinese government arrive in the capital city of Addis Ababa with medical supplies on April 16. (Photo courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia)

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