Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on June 18, 2020
The Paper:The Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19was held yesterday. China has done more to help African countries fight the pandemic, reduce their debt and support them in overcoming economic difficulties. But some media believe that China is holding the summit to further expand its influence in Africa. What is China's comment?
Zhao Lijian: The Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 was successfully held on June 17. It was a special gathering of Chinese and African leaders amid our joint fight against the pandemic. In President Xi Jinping's keynote speech delivered at the Summit, he put forward a series of important initiatives and proposals, declared full support for African countries' efforts against COVID-19, and pledged to continue assisting Africa with supplies and medical experts and accelerate the construction of African CDC headquarters. China promises that once the COVID-19 vaccine is developed and put into use, African countries will be among the first to benefit. China is ready to work together with the international community to step up support for African countries, particularly those that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress, by such means as further extending the period of debt suspension, to help them tide over the current difficulty.
African leaders warmly welcomed and spoke highly of this. They said that the Summit was convened at the right time and has strengthened the confidence of African countries to defeat the virus. China is a true friend that delivers help to Africa when it is most needed. By strengthening the bond of solidarity and cooperation, China and Africa will boost global confidence in achieving an early victory over COVID-19 and set a good example for relevant international cooperation.
As the pandemic continues to spread in Africa, African countries face multiple challenges and look forward to greater international support for Africa. China calls on the international community to heed Africa's voice, respond to its concerns, take more practical steps and make concrete contributions to helping Africa secure an early victory over the pandemic and realizing sustainable development.