The Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, Lin Jing, has said that the bilateral relation between Nigeria and China has no political strings attached to it.
He said this at a round-table dialogue organised by the Centre for China Studies (CCS) in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Ling explained that the relationship between China and Africa as a whole is aimed at building a win-win cooperation. He emphasised the need for mutual respect and equal consultation between both parties as he said the Chinese government rejects the cold-war mentality and power politics.
“I need to say that there is no attachment of political strings to assistance rendered by China. There is also no seeking of selfish political interest whatsoever.
“China is not Africa’s Father Christmas. What we want to do is to build a win-win cooperation. Our cooperation is mutually beneficial. We always consider our relationship over interest and China ready to work with each African country to enable sustainable development,” he said.
The diplomat also said China will launch several initiatives in Nigeria in the next three years. The initiatives are, industrial promotion, infrastructural connectivity, peace and security, people-to-people ties, healthcare facilities, among others.
According to him, the Chinese government is willing to establish 10 workshops to create vocational training. A China-Africa cooperation centre (in Nigeria), several scholarships and training alternatives.
The chairman of the dialogue, Shehu Sani, who appreciated the relationship between China and Nigeria, stressed the need for a stronger economic cooperation.
While describing China as Africa’s longest reliable friend, he said the China-Africa relations should not just be about loans.
“Other areas should be explored. For instance, security cooperation. That is, having China support Africa at the UN Security Summit,” he said.
The dialogue was themed, “the outcome of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and how it can be synegised with the economic recovery and growth plan to drive sustainable and inclusive development.”
It comes barely two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari participated in the 7th Summit of FOCAC in Beijing where the Chinese President Xi Jinping had pledged to provide $60 billion to finance Africa’s development over the next three years.
The dialogue had in attendance, the Deputy Permanent Representatives of Nigeria to the United Nations, Usman Sarki, representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corpoation, National Defence College and several academics.