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COVID-19: China To Ease Debt Burden On Nigeria, Other African Countries

Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister, has said his country will work with other G20 members on the implementation of the debt service suspension initiative, to ease the debt burden on Nigeria and other African countries.

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In a statement by Chu Maoming, China’s Consul General in Lagos, 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 a state councillor, equivalent of deputy prime minister of China’s cabinet, stated that the country and Africa are good brothers.

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“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.

“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.”

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He stated that in the battle against COVID-19, China and Africa have again stood by each other.

He noted that over 50 African leaders have expressed solidarity and support in phone calls or public statements.

Yi said China has subsequently sent medical expert teams to Africa’s five sub-regions and surrounding countries.

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“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,” he stated.

He disclosed that all of the over 3,000 African students in Hubei Province, including the city of Wuhan, are safe and sound, except for one who contracted coronavirus, but was later cured.

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The minister stated that 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Yi noted that China’s relation with Africa has stood the test of time, and will continue to flourish.

Despite the pandemic, he said China will take concrete measures to push forward the relations.

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“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,” Yi added.

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The minister also said that China will continue to work with Africa on development and capacity-building.

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