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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

China pledges more support for SA to help defeat Covid-19 and restore economy

China and South Africa are in a friendly and supportive friendship, with China saying it will 'reciprocate the goodwill of South Africa'.

Solidarity and international cooperation are at the core of defeating the spread of the globally-spreading Covid-19, according to Chinese embassy Charge De Affairs Li Nan.

Addressing a weekend ceremony to hand over medical supplies donated by the Chinese government to the country’s Early Care Foundation – 18,000 disposable masks and 120 forehead temperature guns – Nan pledged to donate an additional batch of 50,000 disposable medical masks, saying his country would continue to honour its international commitments in solidarity with South Africa “to defeat the common enemy and restore economic development”.

The commitments by Chinese President Xi Jinping to support the continent’s fight against Covid-19 – among several in the world, grappling with the pandemic – were made under the June Forum on China-Africa Cooperation framework and the China Africa Extraordinary summit, in line with the implementation of the G20 summit consensus.

Nan said: “As the Covid-19 pandemic is still ravaging across the African continent, including here in South Africa, the Chinese people and government are deeply concerned about the situation and share the same feelings and sufferings of the African people.

“Women, children and the younger generation are the most vulnerable group subject to the negative impact of the pandemic.

“These donations are not much, however, they represent the goodwill of the Chinese people and Chinese government.”

He added: “Recently, the first lady of the Republic of Congo, Mme. Nguesso, who is the rotating President of the Organisation of the African First Ladies for Development, wrote a letter to Professor Peng Liyuna, First Lady of China and the wife of President Jinping, to request for China’s attention to and support for African women – children and the younger generation in their fight against the pandemic.

“Professor Peng attached great importance to the request and made the positive response immediately.

“As a result, to express Chinese people’s support to Africa, the Chinese government has decided to donate medical supplies through OAFLAD (Organisation of African First Ladies for Development) to help mothers, children and the younger generation in 53 African countries including SA.

“Professor Peng had several meetings with (Early Care Foundation patron) Dr Tshepo Motsepe on many occasions and they know each other very well and have developed great friendship.

“They share the same aspiration in efforts to support pre-school education, and the cause of woman and children development.

“Professor Peng highly appreciates Dr Motsepe’s contribution to the education of women and children in South Africa through Early Care Foundation.

“China and South Africa are good friends, partners and brothers.

“Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, China and South Africa have been supporting each other sincerely.

“Earlier this year when China was at its most difficult time, we enjoyed friendly support from South African brothers and sisters.

“Now as the pandemic is under effective control in China, it is time for China to reciprocate the goodwill of South Africa.

“Since March when the first case was confirmed in SA, China has been providing large amounts of assistance, both in cash and kind, to South African brothers and sisters.”

– brians@citizen.co.za

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