The Chinese government says it remains committed to assisting Nigeria and other African countries in their development programmes.
This was contained in the remarks by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, at the Reception for the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China held in Abuja on Thursday.
At the event, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, represented President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently at the 74th United Nations General Assembly.
In a copy of the remarks sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Pingjian thanked all those who have long cared for China and supported China-Nigeria relations.
“Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st 1949, the Chinese people have brought enormous changes to the country, creating an unprecedented miracle of development in the world history,” he said
He stated the achievements of the Chinese government in the last decades such as the life expectancy that rose to 77 years in 2018, from around 33 in 1947; improvement in the education sector, industrial development and economic growth.
“China is now the only country that has developed all the industrial categories of the UN’s industrial classification. As the world’s largest industrial producer, China ranks the first in the output of 220 products.”
The official called for peace and unity amongst the countries of the world noting that no country is self-sufficient in solving the various challenges militating against her.
“At present, the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century with various global challenges on the rise. Under such circumstances, no country can stay immune on its own. All countries need more than ever before to strengthen communication and coordination, respect each other’s development path, make the pie of mutually beneficial cooperation bigger, jointly safeguard international equity and justice, firmly safeguard multilateralism and continuously promote the democratization of international relations. China stands ready to make positive contributions to this end.”
“As an African saying goes, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” The Chinese people have always believed that China will do well only when the world does well, and vice versa. China has grown from a poor and weak country to be world’s second largest economy. What it relied on was not military expansion or colonial plunder, but the hard work of its people and our efforts to uphold peace.”
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Speaking on China-Africa relations, Mr Pingjian said: “China and Africa have always been a community with a shared future. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will always see the countries of Africa as our time-honored friends.”
“No matter how the international situation evolves, China will work unremittingly to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries guided by the principles advocated by President Xi, namely the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith.”
“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.”
“China and Nigeria are born brothers. Our joy is shared and happiness doubled on the occasion of October 1st celebration every year. The brotherly South-South cooperation between China and Nigeria is equal-footed and mutually beneficial.”
Meanwhile, Mr Zubair, in his address said Nigeria and China enjoy strategic partnership in all facets of our bilateral relationship.
At the political front, there has been a remarkable high-level official visit between both countries. Nigeria values this friendship and partnership with the People’s Republic of China, he said.
“Economic relations between Nigeria and China are largely characterized 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.”
The minister saif 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).
He also commended China for its participation in the federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) through its infrastructural projects in the country.
Mr Zubairu said Nigeria is currently addressing its infrastructural and other challenges and will appreciate China’s support.
“This is manifest in such critical areas of the economy such as agriculture, transport, energy, education, youth empowerment and above all security. Nigeria appreciates China’s humanitarian and military assistance in the fight against security challenges facing the country.”
He assured that in line with Mr Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) initiative towards the diversification of Nigerian economy, the country will continue to learn from the experiences and best practices of China in the implementation of her plans.