Soft power “triumphs”… How did “China’s health” succeed in winning over Africa?

A Chinese government report highlighted the efforts made by the Chinese health sector in Africa over half a century, especially in countries that have experienced serious health crises and epidemics, amid fierce competition from China’s traditional rivals for influence.

An expert on Chinese affairs comments to “Sky News Arabia” that the health field is one of the “soft power” weapons that China relies on to establish its footing on the continent, as a “very profitable market for it”, and even succeeded in displacing the United States from some regions..

According to the report published by the official Xinhua news agency, on Tuesday, China has sent 23 medical regiments to the continent in half a century, the first of which was in 1963 and landed in Algeria. Surgical operations and deliveries are in very difficult conditions due to poor medical infrastructure.

virus spread time

The report also sheds light on the mutual cooperation between China and Africa in times of spread of viruses, the most famous of which is the Corona virus; Where China provided tens of thousands of vaccines to more than 50 countries, and provided technology and experience to some countries to produce vaccines within them..

On the other hand, China has received support from the leaders of more than 50 countries in Africa during its fierce battle against the virus.

From 2014-2016, Beijing sent more than 1,000 medical personnel to virus-stricken areas, trained more than 13,000 local health workers for deployment in affected areas, and offered West African countries ambulances, motorcycles and pickup trucks..

profitable market

The expert on Chinese affairs, Mazen Hassan, points out the importance of the health field in Africa to China. Considering that it is one of the most needed in several countries in it, citing that China, for example, during the Corona virus crisis, transported vaccines to the continent before any other country, and even helped in the production of vaccines in some countries of the continent..

This period, especially between 2020-2022, witnessed fierce competition between Chinese, American and Russian companies for the production of vaccines in proving their efficiency at the expense of others, and exploiting vaccines to expand their global influence..

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In good words, China sees Africa as a “very profitable market” for distributing its products and profiting from that, until it was able to displace America and Western countries in many regions with these methods.“.

The “soft” support that China provides to the continent is not limited to medical services. It works in parallel with the World Bank in providing loans and grants to countries that need funds with simplified payment methods than those set by the World Bank, in addition to providing its expertise in technology to “contain the continent,” as the political analyst says..

115 centers around the world

Currently, Chinese medical teams work in 115 medical centers in 56 countries around the world, most of them in Africa, and among the countries that have received the most services between medical care, distribution of vaccines and epidemic control: Central Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and West African countries.

Praising these efforts, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the Chinese people love peace and love life, which is clearly evident through their efforts in international medical assistance, stressing that “Chinese doctors have made great sacrifices, and their stories are unfolding on the African continent every day.”

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