RABAT – China and Morocco have strengthened relations through joint efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In parallel, their multilayered cooperation in public health, culture and other fields has deepened under the Belt and Road framework.
In early February, when China was rushing to contain the spread of the coronavirus and worried about a lack of medical equipment, the Bank of Africa, a large commercial bank based in Morocco, donated 150,000 surgical masks and 900,000 medical gloves to the central Chinese province of Hubei.
As a Chinese proverb goes, “whoever gives a drop of water will receive spring water.” Months later, when Morocco needed medical equipment to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19, the China Development Bank showed its solidarity with the Moroccan people by offering dozens of respirators and 98,000 medical protective masks.
It was an example of how cooperation between China and Morocco went beyond economics.
On March 20, a batch of supplies, including 15,000 medical gloves, 20,000 N95 masks and 2,000 medical protective suits, which were donated by the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou, arrived in Morocco’s capital Casablanca.
On March 26, China held a video conference with countries in West Asia and North Africa to share its experience in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Moroccan medical experts and officials participated.
Mesiane Belfkir, an official with the Moroccan Health Ministry, said that China’s experience in combatting the disease is inspiring and useful.
Although the pandemic is somehow hindering exchanges and communication among countries, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is still effectively promoting exchanges in various fields.
Morocco has been actively participating in the construction of the BRI, which is a win-win cooperative approach and contributes to the development of the African continent, said Mohammed Tawfik Mouline, director general of the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies in Morocco.
In early May, the Chinese Cultural Center in Rabat launched a series of activities themed “‘Cloud’ Traveling to China” via its social media accounts.
The activities included sharing anti-epidemic knowledge online, home isolation tips and other relevant content such as a documentary regarding China’s fight against the virus and other videos. The section won the praise and affirmation from many netizens.
Nasser Bouchiba, president of the Africa-China Cooperation Association for Development in Morocco, said that Morocco and China supported each other in the COVID-19 fight, adding that the BRI has promoted all-round cooperation between Morocco and China and brought the two peoples closer together.