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Why Jack Ma’s Donation is the Knock-Out Punch in the U.S.-China Soft Power Fight Over COVID-19 in Africa

Leaders across Africa, from Ethiopia to Rwanda, took to Twitter this weekend to express their appreciation to Chinese philanthropist Jack Ma for his massive donation of supplies to each African country in the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The arrival in Africa of millions of masks, protective shields, and other medical supplies comes as China and the U.S. are locked in an increasingly bitter struggle over who will shape the COVID-19 narrative that President Donald Trump and his conservative supporters want to frame as the “Wuhan” or “Chinese Virus” while the Chinese, instead, is trying to persuade the world that the virus didn’t actually originate in Wuhan.

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