COVID-19 vaccines a global public product, and taken the lead in providing vaccine doses to Africa. 

\Apart from the cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, China and Africa are also delivering outcomes of their close collaboration in digital economy, aerospace, clean energy and new infrastructure.

For instance, a national data center, a national broadband network and an e-government platform funded and technically supported by China have been put into use in Senegal. Besides, the “Smart Senegal” e-infrastructure project built by China is also about to be delivered, offering a solid foundation for the country’s digital transformation.

Such resilience reveals the profound basis for cooperation between China and Africa, and the vitality of their cooperation is heralding a bright future. Though the pandemic has placed roadblocks on the way of cooperation between the two sides, China and Africa has never stopped their steps of cooperation or wavered in their determination to maintain solidarity. The Chinese and Africans are getting increasingly closer for cooperation. This is a choice made by the two sides upon the past, the present days and the future.

From a historical point of view, both China and Africa cherish their traditional friendship. The two sides enjoy a long history of friendship. Especially since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China has always adhered to the principles of equality, mutual respect, non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs and not attaching political strings to its foreign aid, laying a solid foundation for the robust development of China-Africa cooperation in the 21st century.

Both China and Africa are optimistic about Africa’s prospects. Considering its own development course and experience, China has always been positive about the future of Africa and been committed to enhancing its cooperation with the continent, so as to break the biases and stereotypes about the continent. We firmly believe that Africa is completely capable of independently exploring a path of vitalization that suits its own conditions.

Both China and Africa are unswervingly following multilateralism for a better future of humanity. At the crossroads that concerns the future of mankind, the two sides see an urgent demand to reinforce solidarity and cooperation, and safeguard the legitimate rights of the Chinese and African people to jointly fight the pandemic, oppose external interference, follow equity and justice, and live a better life, so as to contribute positive energy to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and a new type of international relations, as well as world peace and development.

As representatives from the two sides are expected to gather soon at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to be held in Senegal, China and Africa are about to jointly embark on a new journey and usher in a new era.

The event, to be held amid the pandemic, reflects the mutual trust and support between the world’s largest developing country and the continent that is home to the largest number of developing countries, as well as their resolution, courage and responsibility to answer the questions of the times.

China and Africa, adhering to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, will deepen their partnership, promote sustainable development, and build a community with a shared future between China and Africa. Together, they will strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the vitalization of the African continent.

(Xiao Han is the Chinese Ambassador to Senegal.)