Misinformation should not sway China-Africa ties: Zimbabwe ambassador

By Lu Wenao Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/17 21:13:40

Zimbabwean Ambassador to China Martin Chedondo Photo: Lin Luwen/GT

Negative media is waiting for a chance to "drive a wedge and spoil" China-Africa relations, as the ties should not be swayed by unverified reports and exaggerations, Zimbabwe's Ambassador to China said Friday. This is the latest move from an African official to dismiss allegations of discrim-ination toward Africans in a South China city, following the Nigerian Foreign Minister and Namibian Ambassador to China.

"Relations between China and Africa are strategic and mutual, have transcended generations and continue to deepen," Ambassador Martin Chedondo told the Global Times on Friday. 

"It is for this reason that negative media is waiting for any opportunity to drive wedges and spoil that relationship."

Biased reports emerged last weekend that African people in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, were mistreated during the local government's campaign to curb COVID-19 spread. 

Meeting African envoys on Monday, China's Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong reiterated that China treats all foreigners equally under China's virus prevention rules.

"It is of fundamental importance for Africa and China to guard their unity of purpose and strive at all times to openly communicate in a spirit of trust and sincerity," Chedondo noted. 

"Strategies of lockdowns, quarantines, and voluntary testing or otherwise result in unintended discomforts and pains, but these have to be endured for the greater good of taming the pandem-ic."

The ambassador also noted that cooperation will achieve better results in this fight against the pandemic, calling for better communication between China and Africa.

"When all measures are carried out transparently and in consultation, there will be no room for misunderstandings and distortions," Chedondo said. "Cooperation and collaboration will achieve better results for the benefit of all concerned."

Zimbabwe, which is celebrating its 40th Independence Day on Saturday but is under a nationwide lockdown to prevent COVID-19 spread, so far has reported 24 confirmed cases as of Friday, ac-cording to Johns Hopkins University. 

"We appreciate the current assistance rendered by China in our fight against the pandemic and, therefore, all efforts undertaken to safeguard the gains achieved so far," Chedondo said. 

"Given the global COVID-19 pandemic situation, governmental efforts have been to detect, iso-late, control and treat where necessary. This has become a universal practice in combating the COVID-19 pandemic," Chedondo said.

Speaking of the online discord between China and African netizens, the ambassador said practical actions of good work will speak for themselves.

"We should not be swayed by unverified media statements and exaggerations," Chedondo noted. "We should concentrate on practical action on the ground so that the good works will speak for themselves." 

On Thursday, two batches of Chinese medical teams have arrived in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, to help local efforts stop the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier this week, Namibian Ambassador to China Elia Kaiyamo has also refuted claims that African nationals are being mistreated in China, while Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said that there is nothing wrong in Guangzhou applying strict anti-epidemic policies based on the experience of Wuhan.

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