Was China surprised by 54 African nations backing the resolution for a probe into the pandemic? Probably not. They may have been informed quietly by some of their friends and well wishers on the continent. This could mark a turning point for African perceptions of China, until now grounded in Beijing’s lavish spending on infrastructure projects there. Clearly, something has gone wrong and the humiliation and abuse that Africans in China have been subjected to in the wake of the Coronavirus could be a reason. But Africa is also getting wise to China’s debt-driven diplomacy and, while still hankering for Beijing’s aid and assistance, will probably insist on better terms and conditions. China’s cost of doing business in Africa has probably gone many notches up.
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