Chinese Authority Holds Online Meeting to Share COVID-19 Experience With African Journalists

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Monrovia – An online meeting to strengthen cooperation between Africa and China in curbing the Covid-19 pandemic was held on April 23, with discussions focusing on China’s experience and the recent anti-coronavirus measure put in place in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The China-Africa Cooperation Anti-epidemic online meeting was held at the Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office and connected with participants in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou in China while participants and African journalits joined remotely from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and other countries.

The discussions further enhanced the mutual understanding and friendship between China and Africa and promoted the development of China-Africa cooperation in regards to anti-epidemic efforts, Chinese officials said. 

The meeting was chaired by Liu Biwei, H.E. Ambassador vice president of the China Public Diplomacy Association.

During the one-hour-thirty minute online meeting, the Chinese authorities connected with journalists in Africa to talk about how China and Africa can further work together to fight the epidemic and address concerns from African journalists on epidemic prevention and control. 

H.E. Ambassador Kuang Weilin, former head of the Chinese Mission to the African Union, said China has entered a new stage of epidemic prevention and control, and that life is gradually returning to normal but many countries and regions are still facing the challenges associated with the epidemic. 

Guangzhou has a significantly increased risk of imported cases. To this end, Guangzhou has taken active and strict prevention and control measures, and these measures are implemented equally, regardless of nationality, Mr. Kuang said. 

He added that his country still faces the challenges brought on by the epidemic, China is actively cooperating with the World Health Organization and other countries.

“The China-Africa friendship is profound. Although China is under pressure from the epidemic, it is still actively providing help and support to Africa,” Kuang said.

Also, Li Tiegang, an expert epidemiologist and member of the Guangzhou COVID-19 Prevention and Control Group was a member of the Ebola Expert Group as part of China’s efforts to Africa in back 2014, also made several comments abut collaboration between China and African countries.

“With our joint efforts, we defeated the Ebola virus at that time, and this time we joined hands and will certainly be able to defeat the new coronavirus,” Li Tiegang said.

Li Tiegang added that government command, community participation, respect for science, concentrated efforts to treat and publicize epidemic information are Guangzhou’s “five effective measures” in responding to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Virginio Bibang Ndong, a student at Southern Medical University in Gangdong, narrated how he has reintegrated in the China society since moving there to study in 2014.

Now in Guangzhou studying at the Southern Medical University, Ndong said that there are many African people in Guangzhou, which makes him feels that Guangzhou is like his “second hometown, since he has made friends with many Chinese people.

He recalled that during the anti-epidemic period, everyone faced challenges that had never been encountered before the outvreak and that there may have been some misunderstandings, but through communication, mutual understanding can be achieved and everyone can move forward together.

Deputy Director-General of the Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office, Luo Jun, responded to hot issues and answered questions from African journalists during the online meeting.

During the teleconference, it emerged that most of the concerns from Africans emerged when local authorities upgraded containment measures by requiring quarantine and nucleic acid tests for all the recent inbound travelers.

“Only by adopting timely and strict measures could the resurgence of the epidemic be prevented,” an official said, “This is what a responsible government should do for its Chinese and foreign nationals.”

The officials said Guangdong has now strengthened communication with consulates in Guangzhou of various countries, and established a normalized daily liaison mechanism.

Other measures taken is the establishment of a special working group to respond to the concerns of Africans timely.

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