Coronavirus epidemic touchstone for resilient China-Africa friendship

   The world’s fight against the raging novel coronavirus epidemic has become a touchstone for the resilient friendship between China and African countries.

   China has long been a major contributor to maintaining public health around the world, notably in Africa. Over the past five decades, China has sent medical teams of 21,000 members to Africa, and has treated 220 million African patients.

   After the Ebola virus breakout in Africa in March 2014, certain countries closed their embassies and evacuated diplomats and citizens from three West African countries hit hard by the epidemic.

   At that dreadful time, China decided to stay and help. The Chinese government sent not only urgently needed supplies but also medical teams of over 1,000 military and civilian doctors to areas stricken most severely by the disease. Chinese diplomats and medical experts also fought together with local residents until the pandemic was defeated.

   Hardship reveals true friendship and the China-Africa friendship has withstood various tests. At the African Union (AU) Summit concluded Monday this week, leaders of AU members expressed their solidarity with and confidence in the Chinese government and people in their efforts to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus though some tried to sow discords.

   African governments and people have also offered their solid support for China through various means. Comoros, one of the world’s least developed countries in Africa, has donated 100 euro (109 U.S. dollars) to China to fight the COVID-19 via Comoros-China association for friendship. The amount may look small, yet Comoros’s kind-heartedness will be deeply appreciated.

   So far, Africa still sees no report of confirmed novel coronavirus cases, given the fact that African countries adhere to the WHO advice that there should be no restriction in flights to, in and out of China.

   Faced with a public health crisis, blaming or panic will not help humankind win the battle against the virus. The urgent task for everyone is to defeat the disease by holding their hands together.

   Recalling that epidemics such as Ebola have been overcome through coordinated efforts, UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande has recently called for solidarity and cooperation in different forms in times of hardship.

   To end the epidemic as soon as possible, China has made an all-out effort to take care of the victims and contain the disease from spreading. But China alone cannot claim the victory. It needs concerte efforts and assistance from the international community.

   China is grateful for the help from around the world, and will continue to share information and strengthen cooperation with other countries in an open, transparent and highly responsible manner to safeguard the life and health of the Chinese people and to contribute to regional and global public health.

   In union, there is strength. Slow but steady, humanity will prevail over this deadly disease.  Xinhua writer

   by Wang Hongjiang

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