Chinese leader Xi Jinping made special reference to its ties with Africa during his addressing speech at the World Health Assembly. However, the traditional ties between China and Africa have already started to show signs of an early rupture amid coronavirus pandemic.

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic situation in China is largely controlled, Xi has started to portray his country as a global leader in healthcare. During the gathering of World Health Organization (WHO) member states, Xi pledged to donate $2 billion for its efforts toward assisting the developing countries, while highlighting the role Beijing has played in the past seven decades in uplifting the lives of about 200 million Africans.

China has been widely criticized globally for its inaccurate and false reporting of data related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan initially. However, the country has denied every accusation made against it, saying that the severity of the pandemic was duly reported as soon as the Chinese authorities realized it.

Several countries, including Australia, Italy and Germany have joined the league led by U.S. President Donald Trump is heading the criticism and asking for an independent inquiry into the origin of coronavirus in Wuhan, which has been condemned by China.

Xi’s extended support to 30 hospitals in Africa and offer to set up a pan-Africa health authority could hold another reason apart from emerging as the leader in the continent – to gather support amid backlash from over a hundred countries across the world.

While none of the African countries of political leaders have come forward to blame China for the COVID-19 pandemic, but an African group has indeed supported a draft prepared by the European Union, demanding an independent inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic.

The resolution has so far been signed by over 100 countries.

On top of that, Africa has previously condemned the mistreatment of African residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and has sought answers from Beijing.

Several images of Africans from the southern city of Guangzhou, in China, also emerged in April. These were reported to have been evicted from their homes and turned away from hotels. Africans were being blamed for the local coronavirus outbreak and were tested and quarantined irrespective of whether or not they traveled abroad.

Now that a majority of countries are holding China responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become absolutely essential for Xi to seek support from African, more than ever, as the country tries to emerge as a global leader in healthcare

The coronavirus has been slow in Africa so far, however, the emergence of new hotspots in parts of Nigeria, Somalia and Tanzania has raised an alarm.

One such incident has been reported in Nigeria’s Kano, which is the second-largest city. COVID-19 outbreak went unchecked in the city and dozens of people and doctors are reported to be infected already.

Chinese president Xi Jinping Chinese president Xi Jinping Reuters