China has pledged to provide vaccines for the coronavirus (COVID-19) to African countries after a vaccine has been developed, according to Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang.
He added that China’s President Xi Jinping made four main proposals in his speech at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19. China is also set to begin, ahead of schedule, the establishment of the headquarters for the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During a virtual press conference held on Thursday, Liqiang noted that China will send experts and materials to help African countries as they tackle the virus. As part of this cooperation, a China-Africa Friendship Hospital will be built, alongside moves to enhance cooperation between Chinese and African hospitals.
President Xi pledged to provide a coronavirus vaccine to African countries after its development by Chinese scientists, the Ambassador disclosed.
He added that China will continue promoting China-Africa cooperation, due to the high priority for cooperation on public health and the resumption of economic activity to protect people’s livelihoods.
“China will extend the period of debt suspension for the countries most affected by the pandemic, and will encourage Chinese enterprises to conduct friendly consultations with African markets,” Liqiang said, “China is calling on the G20 to extend the suspension of African debt to the countries most affected by the virus.”
Liqiang also said, “Moreover, China plans to continue projects under the Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese side supports the establishment of a free trade area on the African continent.”
He said that President Xi and African leaders greatly welcomed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s speech at the summit.
In his speech, Al-Sisi stressed the availability of the political will to push forward China-Africa relations. He emphasised the desire for cooperation in facing the repercussions of the coronavirus, and seeking mutual benefits between the two sides.
“President Al-Sisi expressed Egypt’s commitment to support the outcomes of the extraordinary summit to reduce the negative repercussions of this crisis on the African continent, stressing the need to continue working among African partners,” Liqiang said.
He unveiled that there are now 158 coronavirus infections in China’s capital, Beijing, since the virus saw a resurgence there a week ago.
China expanded its testing capacity to test 90,000 people daily, at the same time as raising the emergency response from Level 3 to Level 2. The country has also stopped some sporting activities, such as swimming, whilst applying significant measures in some districts.
China has also turned to technology to facilitate access to new infections if any, the ambassador said. Liqiang expressed Beijing’s ability to contain this virus.
He added that the trade volume between Egypt and China reached $3.2bn during the first quarter of this year, with China one of Egypt’s largest commercial partners.
Liqiang added that an agreement will be signed between the China Import and Export Fair and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) to enhance joint cooperation in mid-July.
Ligiang announced that Chinese investments in Egypt amount to $7bn, with major Chinese projects taking place in Egypt. These include a railway project in 10th of Ramadan City and China-Egypt TEDA projects in Ain Sokhna.