FG solicits deeper strategic cooperation with China

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By Lizzy Okoji

The Federal Government has called for deeper reflections, solidarity and cooperation in strategic areas of interests to advance diplomatic relations with China in the future.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Dr Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, made the call at the commemoration of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and China on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, organised by the China Cultural Center was jointly commemorated alongside the Chinese New Year celebration of Feb. 12.

Reflecting on the past 50 years, Anyanwutaku said that both countries had witnessed substantial progress in mutually beneficial cooperation as China had become one of Nigeria’s top trading partners in recent years.

“Our diplomatic relations is 50 years today and Nigeria and China have continued to achieve and witness fast growing pragmatic bilateral relations through strategic partnership in the areas of culture, economy, infrastructure and more importantly in trade and financing.

“In recent years, under the strategic friendship of President Muhammadu Buhari and President Xi Jinping, the relationship between China and Nigeria has reached a new crescendo unmatched in history; bringing tangible benefits to our countries and people.

“At this auspicious occasion of our anniversary of diplomatic ties, we must recognise that 50 years is a very important landmark for the Nigeria-China relationship.

“And I can only call for deeper reflections, solidarity and cooperation in strategic areas of interests.

“Nigeria remains committed to our relations and we hope the future brings more progress and prosperity to both countries,” Anyawukatu said.

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Speaking, Mr Zhoa Yong, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of China said 2021was vital for China-Nigeria relations and China was ready to build a stronger and closer relationship with Nigeria for a shared future.

“We are ready to work with Nigerian friends to speed up implementation of the consensus reached during the visit of Mr Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China last month.

“And, continuously push forward the development of China-Nigeria partnership, so as to build a stronger and closer China-Nigeria community with a shared future.

“Let us create the next 50 years of bilateral relations together,” Yong said.

Also, Mr Olusegun Runsewe, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, said that the cultural exchanges between Nigeria and China had thrived in the past 50 years, with commitments to build them stronger.

Runsewe also commended the bilateral relations between both counties, noting that it would grow even better in the coming years.

“Since 1971 when this bilateral relation started, we have been working very assiduously to make it better.

“That is why the Chinese community in Nigeria has been involved in some skills acquisition training for some Nigerians and we are also doing the same thing for them.

“During our last International Arts and Craft Expo, we trained a lot of Chinese people so it is an exchange programme.

“And there is a lot of bilateral respect between the two countries and it is working very well. We are going to make sure that we continue to build it stronger and better than it was before,” Runsewe said.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event also showcased a photo exhibition of Nigeria-China friendship with elite collections of 50-award winning photos from China-Nigeria National Day and solidarity in defeating COVID-19.

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