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As the Chinese authorities scrambled to respond to Beijing’s first coronavirus outbreak in 50 days in mid-June, locking down residential compounds and sealing off a seafood market after at least 200 fell ill, an unruffled President Xi Jinping broadcast to African leaders to express solidarity in their own fight against the virus.  

Appearing before a row of African flags on June 17, Xi lavished praise on the joint efforts of his African partners and deployed military metaphors to promise that Covid-19 will strengthen China’s economic and diplomatic ties with the continent.  ..

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