Chinese and African media representatives agreed to fight fake news, stigmatization and politicizing the corona virus pandemic by strengthening cooperation and providing evidence based and scientifically accurate information. The commitment was made last Thursday, in a one day virtual China-Africa Media Forum hosted by the Belt and Road Journalists Network.
In his remarks during the forum, Mr. Tian Yuhong, the Secretary General of All China Journalists Association, noted that, “Since the outbreak of the pandemic early this year, some Western politicians have made irresponsible remarks on scientific issues, such as those concerning the origin of the novel coronavirus, to incite hatred”. He further told participants that some media outlets have disregarded scientific facts and spread these politicians’ remarks in support of a “blame game” campaign. This has caused resentment among people of many countries and seriously damaged international efforts to fight the virus.
Mr. Tian Yuhong called on both Chinese and African media to act responsibly and guard against spreading false information but instead forge a strong cooperation that will help the Chinese and African people to better informed in the fight and eventual defeat of the COVID-19.
The African participants noted that China and Africa have worked together in the fight against the corona virus noting that there is no single country that can single handedly win the war against the virus and therefore, all countries whether rich, developing or poor have been equally affected and therefore, requires concerted global solidarity to overcome the pandemic. “China and Africa have made joint efforts to counter the coronavirus. Both sides’ media outlets have also played an important role in the fight, such as by publicizing the situation of the pandemic, promoting the scientific methods for the prevention and control of the disease, and refuting misleading statements about the epidemic”, said, Mr. Ahmed Sallam, the undersecretary of the State Information Service of Egypt.
It was also reported that many African countries are able to test as many people as possible, and to protect them using face masks that were provided by the Chinese government. China did not give this support because it’s a rich country. It is because the leadership of China has a big heart for humanity irrespective of the geographical location. There are richer countries that were not seen doing what China did when African countries needed most this kind of assistance.
This was a great manifestation of what the leadership of China emphasizes of ‘building a Community with a shared future’, of mutual cooperation and solidarity and supporting each other in times of need rather than competing to destroy each other, participants pointed out.
The cooperation between China and Africa has been strengthened in the fight against COVID-19, more than ever before, and it also re-affirmed the saying that, “A friend in need is a Friend Indeed”. China and Africa have a long history of friendship, which is growing stronger day by day for the benefit of the peoples of China and Africa.
The China Africa media forum came in the wake of the virtual extraordinary China-Africa Summit on solidarity against COVID-19 held on 17th June 2020, where President Xi Jinping reassured African leaders that, “China shall never waver in its determination to pursue greater solidarity and cooperation with Africa”, in spite of the evolving international landscape. President Xi promised further strengthening the China-Africa cooperation through a number of initiatives, including strengthening Africa’s disease surveillance and healthcare delivery, and revitalizing the continent’s economies.
During the summit, African leaders and China jointly agreed on a multilateral position on the fight against COVID-19, and called on the world to adopt better synergy between nations to defeat the pandemic and the resulting economic threats.
The China-Africa media forum reaffirmed this position of the great need to jointly work together to provide scientifically accurate information, counter fake news, avoid stigmatization and other forms of misinformation in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Express News