ADDIS ABABA — China’s efforts to bolster COVID-19 medical ties with the rest of the world is strengthening global multilateralism, an expert said on Wednesday.
Abebe Aynete, director at the Institute for Strategic Affairs, a think tank based in Ethiopia’s capital, told Xinhua that China’s donation of COVID-19 medical supplies to European, Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries is a boost to multilateralism.
China’s COVID-19 medical supplies demonstrate the concept of building a community with a shared future for humankind, “whereby countries can act as lifelines to each other during times of crisis,” said the expert.
“China’s foreign policy with an outward looking vision has demonstrated a bold and decisive global leadership during the ongoing COVID-19-induced global economic and social crisis,” Aynete said.
Aynete said with COVID-19 expected to significantly shrink the size of the global economy, solidarity should be commended.
Aynete further said his home country, Ethiopia, has significantly benefited from COVID-19 medical cooperation with China.
Ethiopia was among several African countries that received in April a Chinese medical team comprising healthcare and medical experts to combat the disease.
“Ethiopia has received several rounds of Chinese medical supplies and experts, crucial in Ethiopia’s fight against the pandemic,” Aynete said.
“In addition, Ethiopia’s flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET), using its extensive cargo network between China and African countries, has been able to deliver Chinese COVID-19 medical supplies across the African continent,” Aynete said.
Aynete said the Chinese COVID-19 medical supplies sent to Ethiopia underscored the strong ties between the two countries, unshaken by temporary crises.
Furthermore, Ethiopian Airlines withstood domestic and international pressure “to stop flights to Chinese destinations in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“This decision has helped ET to act as a key transportation means for life-saving COVID-19 medical supplies from Chinese destinations to African destinations,” Aynete told Xinhua.
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates daily passenger flights from Addis Ababa to Guangzhou and Beijing, and three-times-a-week passenger flights to Chengdu, as well as daily passenger and cargo flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Ethiopia has recorded 3,630 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 61 COVID-19 related deaths as of Tuesday.