Nigerian president engages with Chinese FM on bilateral ties

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with visiting Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on January 5, with both sides pledging to promote bilateral cooperation on all fronts.

Buhari said that over the past 50 years, Nigeria-China relations have achieved constructive results and Nigeria is very satisfied with the progress of bilateral relations.

President Buhari acknowledged the contribution of China to Nigeria’s progress saying, “At a time when the oil price was falling and Nigeria was facing difficulties in development, thanks to China’s strong support. Nigeria has effectively alleviated problems such as underdeveloped infrastructure and insufficient food supply, with China playing a very important role in Nigeria’s sustainable development.”

The Nigerian government will remain committed to promoting the all-round development of Nigeria-China relations, Buhari assured Wang Yi.

Wang who first conveyed President Xi’s cordial greetings to Buhari said the two heads of state have established good mutual trust and profound friendship, which has played a strategic guiding role in the development of China-Nigeria relations.

Buhari asked Wang to convey his sincere greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

For 30 years in a row, China has started its annual foreign exchanges with Africa, and this year is no exception. China is ready to work with Africa to meet the challenges and overcome the difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic Wang said.

And continuing he said, “Nigeria, as a major African country has always occupied an important position in China’s diplomacy with Africa. The most important experience of the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Nigeria has always been mutual understanding, mutual trust, and mutual support.”

Wang thanked Nigeria for siding with China on issues concerning China’s core interests. “China will also continue to firmly support Nigeria in safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and support Nigeria in playing a bigger role in regional and international issues.”

Wang said that with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Nigeria cooperation has achieved fruitful results.

“China will continue to help Nigeria build infrastructure in accordance with its development needs, encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Nigeria, and carry out cooperation in free trade parks, so as to boost Nigeria’s industrialization process and enhance its capacity for independent development.”

The foreign minister further disclosed that China is ready to share digital economy experience and technology with Nigeria, carry out green economy cooperation, and jointly tackle the challenge of climate change.

‘China is ready to work with Nigeria to give full play to the role of the intergovernmental committee of the two countries, push forward all-round cooperation and further promote bilateral relations.”

He said the current once-in-a-century pandemic has accelerated global changes and the international situation has entered a period of turbulent change with the rise of unilateralism and protectionism. China is ready to work with Nigeria to uphold multilateralism, promote democratization in international relations, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of China and Nigeria as well as other developing countries.

Wang also held talks with Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama and jointly met with the press thereafter.

Against the backdrop of the talks, both ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the China-Nigeria Intergovernmental Committee.

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