Healthy cooperation between China and Angola
MA XUEJING/CHINA DAILY
The two countries are working closely together to contribute to community with a shared future and health for all
A total of 200,000 doses of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Angola in late March, helping the African nation roll out its vaccination programs to protect Angolan citizens against the disease.
Angola's Health Minister Silvia Lutucuta and Secretary of State for International Cooperation Domingos Lopes attended the handover ceremony for the vaccines, attesting to the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
At the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 in June 2020, President Xi Jinping pledged that China would give priority to African countries after developing its COVID-19 vaccines.
In a telephone conversation with his Angolan counterpart Joao Lourenco in September 2020, President Xi said that China and Angola uphold the principle of putting people and lives first and are taking resolute measures in the fight to effectively control the spread of the pandemic, and China is willing to give priority to African countries once its vaccines are ready for use.
Matching these words with action, China has taken the initiative to implement President Xi's commitments by treating its homegrown vaccines as global public goods and giving priority to the developing countries.
China has exported its vaccines to 43 countries and donated them to 69 developing countries in urgent need. At the request of the World Health Organization, it has also provided 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX to meet the urgent needs of developing countries, including Angola.
China's vaccines have been well received by the international community and are widely benefiting people in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.
As close partners and true brothers, China and Angola have always insisted on upholding the fine tradition of solidarity and mutual assistance, and their friendship has withstood the tests of time.
The two countries established a strategic partnership in November 2010, agreeing to build a community with a shared future in a new era and further boost bilateral relations.
China has been Angola's largest economic and trading partner for many consecutive years now. Their common interests are growing, making them a model of China-Africa friendship and South-South cooperation. In recent years, President Xi has held several meetings with Angolan President Lourenco, especially during the latter's two visits to China in 2018, chalking out the direction for boosting China-Angola relations.
The Chinese and Angolan governments have taken decisive measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus in line with the principle of "putting people first" and "putting people's lives foremost".
The Chinese government has donated several batches of anti-pandemic materials to Angola and helped the country build four Fire Eye laboratories, which will improve the efficiency of large-scale virus detection.
Valdemar Rodrigues Augusto Tchipenhe, one of the participants in the Fire Eye laboratory project launched by China's Shenzhen BGI Group, is a young Angolan technician who received a Chinese government scholarship. He is now using the knowledge he gained in China to help the African people fight the pandemic.
Over the years, the Chinese government and enterprises have provided scholarships to hundreds of Angolan students to study in China. Many of them, such as Tchipenhe, have used their competence to serve their motherland and become envoys of friendship between the two peoples.
We are looking forward to more talented young people like Tchipenhe growing into pillars and mainstays of Angola's national construction and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
China has also sent medical experts to Angola to set up a cooperation mechanism between hospitals in both countries to assist in the purchase of anti-pandemic supplies.
Under President Lourenco's strong leadership, the pandemic prevention and control mechanism has been steadily improving, and the country has won the praise of the WHO.
China has provided vaccine assistance to help Angola overcome the pandemic as soon as possible. Angola will also roll out vaccination drives for overseas Chinese in the country, once again demonstrating the deep friendship between Chinese, Angolan and the African people.
China will join hands with Angola to defeat the pandemic, facilitate its economic and social growth, promote common development in the post-pandemic era, enhance practical cooperation in various fields such as public health, and contribute to a closer China-Africa community with a shared future and health for all.
The author is the Chinese ambassador to Angola. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
MA XUEJING/CHINA DAILY