While in Europe political leaders meet with business leaders to anticipate the money needed to erase the economic penalties of COVID-19 and avoid the collapse of neoliberalism, China has just announced that it’s ready to help all countries in need, mainly the least developed and, in this context, Africa, where China will distribute the potential Chinese vaccine against the pandemic free of charge.
This kind of help for the most abandoned continent is something that has already paid off in the poorest nations. China as the second world economic power, thanks to its steady advance and growth - which does not stop even in the midst of the previous crisis and the economic war against the United States, somewhat lessen due to the current epidemic - it continues to be an example of cooperation between peoples, applicable to their continent, ours and, above all, Africa.
Proof of this are the ministerial lectures of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which have had results that upset and worry the Western Hemisphere, which intensified its propaganda to present Beijing as a neocolonialist, plunder of African nations and manipulator of their governments, but none of this is true.
The truth is that the Asian nation is assuming in Africa the role of the Western. So there’s no doubt when President Xi Jinping highlighted the increase in the practical cooperation with Africa.
In preceding years, Chinese solidarity helped build Africa’s financial capability, providing for three years 10 billion dollars in preferential credits and building 100 renewable energy projects, while eliminating the tariff rates on the 95% of products in the poorest nations, among other matters are proof of this.
At a similar meeting a few years ago in Beijing, the Chinese government granted low-interest loans of $ 5 billion to 48 African countries and designed humanitarian aid projects, such as the construction of rural schools, hospitals and malaria centers, and to the training of 15,000 professionals, as well as the debt being totally or partially forgiven to 35 nations.
THE BIG DIFFERENCE
Although the exact figure is unknown, China has already invested probably more than $ 50 billion, the same amount invested in Africa by the United States, albeit in a sincere spirit of cooperation, as Washington and its European partners use the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as instruments of political pressure.
These help spread the structural problems inherited from colonization. They recommend strict fiscal discipline, which limits budgets for health and education, while calling for progress in the fight against poverty, with neoliberal methods that worsen social marginality.
The he African Growth and Opportunity Act, which governs trade ties with the United States, is an instrument of political pressure to further open the path for transnational corporations. The Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000 between the European Union and 78 African states, the Caribbean and the Pacific, ratifies the damaging scenario for the continent, with oil and diamonds as marketing items, without a real fight against poverty, as established in the agreement.
Trade and investment with interference in domestic affairs and national sovereignty are the ingredients of the western recipe, increasingly rejected in favor of the Chinese formula of expanding and diversifying old ties that now break patterns, giving Africa what it needs.
Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff