Coronavirus: China’s Xi Jinping placates Africa with aid promises

President Xi Jinping of China announced today it will give $2 billion to support the fight against the coronavirus and assist Africa.

Xi made the pledge at the opening of the first virtual meeting of the World Health Organisation’s World Health Assembly.

He said the money will be paid out over two years to help respond to COVID-19, which has killed hundreds of thousands and devastated national economies.

Although the entire money is not meant for Africa, Xi said the it will especially support efforts in developing countries.

Specifically, Xi promised that his country will establish a cooperation mechanism to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of AfricaCDC headquarters.

China will also will work with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, to ensure the operation of COVID19 pandemic response supply chains.

Xi also said his country supports a “comprehensive evaluation” of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic after it “has been brought under control.”

China has “always had an open, transparent and responsible attitude,” and had shared information on the virus in a timely manner, he said.

Nevertheless, the assembly will discuss a resolution tabled by the European Union that calls for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the international response to the coronavirus crisis.

The resolution has the support of more than half of WHO’s member countries and will be discussed this week at the decision-making body of the UN health agency, being held virtually this year.

In his speech, Xi said that the inquiry into the global response should “sum up experiences and improve shortcomings.”

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