Solidarity in pandemic fight paves way for further cooperation between China and Mozambique
The profound friendship between China and Mozambique was forged in their arduous struggles for national independence and liberation. The two countries have been brothers and comrades-in-arms fighting side by side.
In the face of the daunting challenges posed by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the two nations have stood firmly together and once again proved the strength of their bilateral relations and that there is immense potential to move forward with bilateral cooperation.
Political mutual trust builds the foundation of cooperation. In recent years, President Xi Jinping and President Jacinto Nyusi have met many times to jointly draw a blueprint for the development of China-Mozambique relations. Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the leaders of the two countries have exchanged messages many times, reaching important consensus on further deepening bilateral relations and pragmatic cooperation in fighting the pandemic. They have also pointed out the way for the growth of bilateral relations in the post-pandemic era. In the context of major changes unseen in a century, coupled with a once-in-a-century pandemic, the two sides, in the face of the new situation and new challenges, are committed to strengthening coordination and cooperation over international and regional affairs, firmly supporting each other and jointly upholding multilateralism and international fairness and justice.
Standing in solidarity is enhancing the profound friendship. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons to fight against the pandemic. President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi sent a letter of condolence to President Xi when China was enduring its most difficult moments in its fight against the virus. The leadership and people from all walks of life in Mozambique actively supported China's fight against the pandemic.
After the contagion broke out in Mozambique, the Chinese central and local governments, as well as the private sector, donated many batches of urgently needed protective materials to the African country, and the health departments of the two countries shared their experiences in pandemic prevention, control and disease treatment in a timely manner.
Not long ago, a batch of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China arrived in Mozambique, making the nation one of the first African countries to receive Chinese vaccines. President Nyusi personally announced the good news to the Mozambican people through social media, and Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario led several cabinet ministers to the airport to welcome the arrival of the vaccines.
The resumption of work and production has facilitated local development. In the face of pressure in pandemic containment, China and Mozambique have communicated closely, jointly fought the contagion, and steadily promoted the reopening of projects that were launched as part of bilateral pragmatic cooperation. The results are gratifying. The Mozambique section of the program "Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages" has been successfully delivered. The cooperation agreement for the modernization and expansion of Mozambique's mobile internet was signed. The project to bring digital TV to households and the construction of the national TV station are drawing to a close. The resumption of construction on projects such as Xai-Xai Airport and the Mozambique-China Cultural Center is proceeding smoothly after overcoming some initial obstacles.
Looking ahead to the post-pandemic era, the China-Mozambique friendly cooperative relations have broad prospects and great potential.
The two sides must jointly plan the path of growth. This year marks the beginning of China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), in which the country will accelerate the establishment of a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other.
The next summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in Senegal this year, and China-Mozambique pragmatic cooperation will benefit from the new opportunities that are sure to be the fruit of the meeting. China and Mozambique can further strengthen their strategic coordination and steadily move forward with the implementation of projects under the framework of the FOCAC and the Belt and Road Initiative.
It is also important for the two nations to further tap into the potential of their bilateral cooperation to enable China's technology and development experience to complement the advantages of Africa－its rich resources and huge development potential－and promote Mozambique's economic recovery and social development in the post-COVID-19 era.
Both sides should deepen their coordination in the fight against the pandemic. Under the current situation, China will facilitate Mozambique's procurement of vaccines from China. From a long-term perspective, we will accelerate the implementation of the important health measures announced by President Xi at the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2018 and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 in June last year.
China will accelerate the development of a cooperation mechanism in which Chinese hospitals extend help to the development of their counterparts in Mozambique. It will also help Mozambique improve its medical and healthcare conditions and strengthen its public health governance system. A few days ago, the 23rd batch of Chinese medical experts arrived in Mozambique. Medical workers of the two countries will continue to conduct close communication to promote bilateral cooperation in healthcare and contribute to the building of a China-Africa community of health.
Both sides should strengthen their people-to-people exchanges. The friendship between China and Mozambique has a long history, and the two peoples are eager to learn about each other's long history, splendid culture and customs. There are reasons to believe that with the pandemic being brought under control in the two countries, the bilateral exchanges in various fields such as culture, education, and scientific research between the two sides will gradually resume, which will open a new chapter of friendship for the promotion of mutual understanding and mutual learning between the two peoples.
With the joint efforts of the Chinese and Mozambican people, we have seen early hopes of Mozambique overcoming the pandemic. The China-Mozambique relationship in the post-pandemic era will be more stable, with the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides further moving forward, and the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Mozambique will bear more fruits and benefit the two peoples.
The author is the Chinese ambassador to Mozambique. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.