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In the Diplomatic Optics Game, China Shows That it Can Get Things Done to Help Fortify Africa Against COVID-19

Now that the COVID-19 crisis in China is receding, Chinese officials are stepping up their efforts to help other countries in their fight against the deadly virus. Although in many instances the amount of aid, measured in dollars, is far less than what the United States and European countries provide in public health assistance, Chinese diplomats and missions appear to be doing a much better job at publicizing their efforts.

It’s interesting to contrast the social media accounts for someone like Zhao Baogang, the Deputy Ambassador in Harare, with U.S. diplomatic Twitter accounts in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and South Africa among other places. Zhao’s account clearly shows what the Chinese are doing on the ground in tangible, practical terms. The Americans, for example, provide health warnings from the CDC in the US and mention the virus largely in passing in between ambassadorial photo ops.

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