We’ll ease Nigeria, others’ debt burden –Chinese minister
In a statement by China’s Consul General in Lagos, Chu Maoming, the minister said this while responding to a question asked by an African journalist at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Chinese national legislative session on Sunday.
Yi, who is concurrently a state councillor (equivalent of deputy prime minister) of China’s cabinet, stated that China and Africa were good brothers.
“China is also considering further bilateral support for African countries under the greatest strain to help African brothers and sisters through this difficult time,” he stated.
He also said, “Our people, having fought shoulder to shoulder for national liberation, are partners for common development. A few years back, we were together fighting Ebola.”
The minister said he agreed with the African Union Commission that “Africa and China are friends and, more importantly, comrades in arm. Nothing can change or damage this friendship.”
He stated that in the battle against COVID-19, China and Africa had again stood by each other.
Over 50 African leaders had expressed solidarity and support in phone calls or public statements, he noted.
Yi said China had subsequently sent medical expert teams to Africa’s five sub-regions and surrounding countries.
The minister said, “Resident Chinese medical teams based in 45 African countries have acted swiftly to assist in the local response. They have held nearly 400 training sessions for tens of thousands of African medical workers.
“China also looks after the African community in China just like it takes care of its own families.”
Yi disclosed that all of the over 3,000 African students in Hubei Province, including the city of Wuhan had been safe and sound, except for just one who got infected but was soon cured.
The minister stated that 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
He stated that China’s relations with Africa had stood the test of time and would continue to flourish.
Despite the pandemic, he stated that China would take concrete measures to push forward the relations.
Yi stated, “First, China will continue to stand by Africa as it fights the virus. China will send anti-epidemic assistance to African and other developing countries as a matter of priority. China is considering sending more medical expert teams to the continent.
“China will continue to deliver on the health initiative announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit. China will accelerate construction of the Africa CDC headquarters, and help boost public health capacity in African nations.”
The minister also said that China would continue to work with Africa on development capacity-building.
China, he added, would work out ways to move ahead with major ongoing cooperation projects and support African countries in reopening businesses soon to sustain Africa’s economic momentum.
According to him, China would work with other G20 members to implement the debt service suspension initiative to ease Africa’s debt burden.