U.S., China Officials Spar Over Trump Administration Official’s Allegations China’s Involvement In Africa CDC Headquarters Meant To ‘Steal Data’

Financial Times: U.S. warns over Chinese ‘spying’ on African disease control center
“The Trump administration has cited concerns over Beijing’s scientific spying program as the reason it wants to block a Chinese plan to build an $80m headquarters for the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Ethiopia, amid growing competition for influence in the continent. ‘It’s a threat to Africa. Africa has vast amounts of genomic data and the Chinese want to build the CDC to eventually steal the data from all the other centers,’ an administration official told the Financial Times, referring to five regional Africa CDC hubs, some of which were built by the U.S. … The Obama administration reached a 2016 agreement with Beijing to jointly support the Africa CDC and strengthen links between Chinese, African and American health experts. But this co-operation has withered under the Trump administration as the two countries clashed over trade…” (Manson/Pilling, 2/6).

Xinhua: China refutes U.S. official’s claims of China ‘stealing Africa’s genomic data’
“China on Friday refuted the comments of a U.S. official on China’s public health support to Africa, calling the comments ‘ridiculous,’ according to a Foreign Ministry spokesperson. … ‘This is just as ridiculous as the recent allegations by the U.S. side that China is building the African Union conference center to steal their data,’ spokesperson Hua Chunying said at an online news briefing, adding it shows some people in the United States consistently use their own mindset to think of others. She said the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic had revealed the poor condition of Africa’s public health system, and Africa hoped that the international community would help it build the Africa CDC…” (2/7).

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