Zambian President Edgar Lungu might have been surprised to hear that the big takeaway from his call on Monday with Xi Jinping wasn’t debt relief or anything to do with COVID-19. In the unlikely event that he opened a copy of the China Daily newspaper on Tuesday morning, he would have seen that his expression of support for Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong and Xinjiang were deemed more important by China’s propagandists.
This is probably a bit perplexing to many Africans who don’t fully appreciate just how sensitive these issues are to the Chinese, especially today as they face criticism from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere for the horrific treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, the encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy with the new national security law, and heightened challenges by the United States to its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
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