China pledges strengthened support to Nigeria

Geoffrey Onyeama: Foreign Affairs Minister

Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian,  has said that the Chinese government would strengthen its support and collaboration to Nigeria, to achieve its development and economic growth.

Zhou made this known on Thursday in Abuja during the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.

According to Zhou, China and Africa has always been a community with a shared future,  which is why China will work unremittingly to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries.

He said that China would continue to pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, so as to share development opportunities with other countries.

He added that China would stay as determined as ever to build world peace, contribute to global prosperity and uphold the international order.

“Both China and Nigeria are major developing countries of great influence in the world.

“Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971 and strategic partnership in 2005 in particular, the all-round, wide-ranging and high-quality bilateral cooperation between China and Nigeria has been a pace-setter for China-Africa cooperation.

“In recent years, thanks to the strategic guidance and personal commitment of President Xi and President Buhari, China and Nigeria have significantly enhanced political trust and secured fruitful outcomes in practical cooperation.

“China-Nigeria relations are at their best time in history and face new opportunities of growth.

“The brotherly South-South cooperation between China and Nigeria is equal-footed and mutually beneficial.

“We firmly support Nigeria in pursuing a development path that suits Nigeria’s national conditions and have confidence that under the able leadership of President Buhari, Nigeria will achieve even greater success in its national development.

“We stand ready to work with Nigeria to enhance mutual trust, jointly pursue Belt and Road cooperation in greater synergy with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“Effectively implement the outcomes of FOCAC Beijing Summit, and elevate the strategic partnership between China and Nigeria to a new level,” Zhou said.

He said that presently, the world was undergoing profound changes unseen in a century with various global challenges on the rise, under which circumstances no country can stay immune on its own.

He said that all countries need more than ever before to strengthen communication and coordination, respect each other’s development path, multilateralism, among others and China stands ready to make positive contributions to this end.

Also speaking, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said that Nigeria and China enjoy strategic partnership in all facets of our bilateral relationship.

Dada said that the Economic Relations  between Nigeria and China are largely characterised by trade and have grown tremendously over the years.

“As Nigeria joined the Belt_and Road Initiative by signing the MoU on the one Belt and one Road framework, it is hoped that bilateral trade cooperation between China and Nigeria will reach greater heights.

“Nigeria deeply appreciates the growing level of cooperation and technical assistance provided by China in several sectors of the economy both at bilateral level and through the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

“Nigeria also commends the People’s Republic of China for its participation in the Federal government’s economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) through its infrastructure projects in the country.

“Nigeria appreciates China’s humanitarian and military assistance in the fight against security challenges facing the country,” Dada said.

Dada explained that from the point of view of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy, Nigeria’s strategy was to promote partnerships with friendly countries through the attraction of Foreign Direct Investments, skills and technology for wealth and job creation.

He said that as the Nigerian government continued to provide an enabling environment for foreign direct investments in Nigeria, it was the expectation that China would  continue to provide the necessary support.