China’s People’s Daily Interviews Schiller Institute Africa Specialist Périmony on ‘Health Silk Road’
May 15, 2020 (EIRNS)—The May 14 issue of People’s Daily, the organ of the Chinese Communist Party, carried an interview with Sébastien Périmony on “Creating a Health Silk Road.” Périmony is described as an expert on Africa issues for the Schiller Institute. Périmony says that with the onset of coronavirus in Africa, there is an urgent need to develop efficient public services and emergency medical supplies. He underlines the importance of Chinese participation in dealing with the problem in Africa and calls for multilateral cooperation to work together in Africa in order to build a Health Silk Road.
Périmony said that China has provided considerable medical aid, and medications as well as skilled personnel to help in the fight against COVID-19 in Africa. He called, especially, for cooperation among China, the United States, and nations in Africa, referencing the appeal of the African Union in 2013 for building an African epidemic control center, a proposal which has been supported and invested in by both the United States and China. The official construction of this center was started in January 2017, but some China hawks in Washington have insisted that funding for this project be halted. He stated that a benchmark for such collaboration was the success achieved by China-U.S.-Africa cooperation in combatting the Ebola virus. Périmony also brought attention to the important work of France’s Institut Pasteur in Africa.
Much of this work has been hindered, he said, by the way the trans-Atlantic nations have created roadblocks in the development plans in Africa. Therefore, only by shaping an innovative and equitable international system on the African continent can these countries truly develop as advanced nations. Périmony praised President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative as a means of promoting African development, accelerating the docking of the BRI with the Africa Union’s 2063 agenda, targetting the centennial of the African Union, for the framework signed on to by the African Union and the United Nations.