Xi Jinping's special envoy calls on UN to assist Africa in Covid-19 fight
In a high-level meeting hosted by the United Nations Security Council on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy Wang Yi, also the country's state councillor and foreign minister, called on the UN to "actively carry out measures" to assist Africa in the Covid-19 fight.
Currently, the African continent accounts for over two million infections of the more than 60 million cases recorded globally. Yet according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been a gradual spike up over the past few months.
Wang urged the UN to play an active role in making sure that the Covid-19 vaccines are reachable and affordable to the vulnerable populations. That would require breaking down the "traffic barriers," Wang said. "All impoverished people or those living in distant regions should be granted with timely and effective treatment," he stressed.
His remarks were made at a high-level meeting on cooperation between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), which was initiated by South Africa, the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in December.
'Silencing the guns' in Africa
The Chinese official doubled down on Beijing's firm support to the African people in building a homeland of peace and stability. There is no world peace if Africa cannot retain stability, Wang emphasized in his four-point proposal. He urged the UN to work with the AU and help push for the the objective of "silencing the guns" and ending wars across the continent.
In addition, poverty elimination should be set as top priority for Africa, Wang pointed out. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the world economy has plunged into deep contraction. The economy of South Africa, the continent's most industrialized state, shrunk by 51 percent in the second quarter, according to government data.
Wang called on developed nations to take more solid actions - such as offering additional grants and debt relief schemes.
China offered debt waivers to some African countries earlier this year, after President Xi's announcement at Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against Covid-19. "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. For those African countries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress, China will work with the global community to give them greater support, by such means as further extending the period of debt suspension, to help them tide over the current difficulty," Xi said in June.
Echoing President Xi's sentiment, Wang again stressed the friendship between China and the African countries. Wang called for fairness for African people to participate in global governance. "When dealing with African issues, [we] should all respect the will of the African people."
China Global Television Network