Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 in Beijing and delivered a keynote speech on June 17. Xi stressed the two sides should work together to build a China-Africa community of health for all and take their comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to a greater height. Edited excerpts of Xi's speeches on China-Africa cooperation since 2013 follow:
In the face of COVID-19, China and Africa have offered mutual support and fought shoulder to shoulder with each other. China shall always remember the invaluable support Africa gave us at the height of our battle with the coronavirus. In return, when Africa was struck by the virus, China was the first to rush in with assistance and has since stood firm with the African people.
Let me reaffirm China's commitment to its longstanding friendship with Africa. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China shall never waver in its determination to pursue greater solidarity and cooperation with Africa.
We pledge that once the development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit.
Within the FOCAC framework, China will cancel the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020.
To cushion the impact of COVID-19, it is important to strengthen Belt and Road cooperation and accelerate the follow-ups to the FOCAC Beijing Summit. Greater priority needs to be given to cooperation on public health, economic reopening, and people's livelihood.
-Excerpts from Xi's speech at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 on June 17, 2020
Developing countries, African countries in particular, have weaker public health systems. Helping them build capacity must be our top priority in COVID-19 response.
China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters.
-Excerpts from Xi's speech at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly via video link on May 18, 2020
In conducting China's relations with Africa, we apply the principles of sincerity, affinity, and good faith and uphold the values of the greater good and shared interests. We will work with our African friends to embrace a new era of mutually beneficial cooperation and common development.
-Excerpts from Xi's speech at the opening ceremony of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on December 4, 2015
China has done its best to help Africa's development. Yet China is always grateful to African countries and peoples for their firm support and selfless help over the years. On issues involving the core interests of either side, we have taken a clear position and given unequivocal support to each other.
Unity and cooperation with African countries have always been an important foundation of China's foreign policy. This will never change, even should China grow stronger and enjoy a higher international standing.
We will further boost people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Africa so as to enhance mutual understanding and perception, and increase public support for China-Africa friendship.
-Excerpts from Xi’s speech at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on March 25, 2013
Ehizuelen Michael Mitchell Omoruyi, Executive director of the Center for Nigerian Studies, Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University
It is necessary for African and Chinese people to know that the pandemic is an unprecedented shock to the world and has imposed challenges to Africa-China cooperation. It, therefore, makes sense to build Africa-China ties on the benefits that have already been consolidated, because through unity and solidarity we can save both lives and livelihoods and ensure that other health services, such as for neglected diseases, child vaccination, HIV, TB and malaria, continue to function and improve.
Sources: Xi Jinping: The Governance of China (I&II), Xinhua News Agency and Beijing Review