Libyan experts said that China's recent appeal for the international community to urgently provide COVID-19 vaccines to Africa is "an important call at a fateful time."
"Beijing, through its call on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to provide vaccines, is keen to mobilize international support for African countries, most of which suffer from poverty and economic problems," said Khaled Al-Tarhouni, a Libyan political analyst.
Al-Tarhouni said China's call comes at a critical time when some major Western countries are "manipulating the fate of many human lives by monopolizing vaccines and the technology for their manufacture, to (make them) become a tool that suffocates the peoples of the Third World, especially in Africa."
He expected China to have a great and influential role in providing vaccines to Africa, as the country recently agreed with Egypt on establishing a Chinese vaccine production line in Egypt.
Libyan human rights activist Mukhtar Ejheder said that China's response to the epidemic has been swift and flexible.
"Since the beginning, China has started transferring and distributing millions of masks and doses to African countries via an unprecedented humanitarian air bridge. This showed its commitment to Africa at a time when Western countries turned their backs on the continent that is one of the most important suppliers (of raw materials) for their primary industries," Ejheder told Xinhua.
"The epidemic has had severe humanitarian consequences. Millions have lost their loved ones to the virus. Therefore, it is a moral responsibility for major countries to contribute to alleviating the human losses that the epidemic has caused on a daily basis," the activist said.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday (May 19) urged the international community to work together with African countries to overcome the pandemic while chairing a UNSC open debate via video link.
"The international community should give more help on anti-pandemic supplies, medicines, technology and funding, especially through ways including non-reimbursable assistance, preferential procurement, technology transfer, and cooperative production, so as to ensure the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in Africa," Wang said.
China has always been a firm supporter of African countries in their fight against COVID-19, Wang said, adding that his country will never step away from anything that's good for Africa.
He called on the international community to beef up support for the continent in such areas as fighting COVID-19, post-pandemic reconstruction, trade and investment, debt relief, food security, poverty reduction, coping with climate change and industrialization.