Chinese Society Celebrates 45th Anniversary of Diplomatic Tie with Nigeria

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Mary Ekah

It was another spectacular gathering as the Chinese Society celebrates 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Nigeria diplomatic ties as well as Moon Festival and National Day Party at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.

Speaking during the event, the Chinese Consul General of Lagos, Mr. Chao Xiaoliang, who shed light on the bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria, revealed that it was his first time in Nigeria and second time in Africa.

He said, “I think China and Nigeria share a lot of similarities. First, we have same common National Day celebration, October 1. Also China is most populous country in Asia and in the world, and Nigeria the most populous black nation in Africa and the world. China is the largest economy in Asia while Nigeria the leading economy in Africa. We share a lot of similarities in culture and strategic knowledge about the international situation and economy.

In the trade area, the trade volume between China and Nigeria has grown fast in the past few years. In 2015, affected by the sluggish world economy, our trade volume reached 14.94 billion dollars, 17.2 per cent less than that of 2014. Despite all these, however, Nigeria remains the largest market for Chinese contracted projects and the second largest market for Chinese exports and the third largest trading partner in Africa.”

Concerned about the present economy situation in Nigeria and what China do to help Nigeria, Xiaoliang said, “there are so many Chinese companies in Nigeria despite the economy downturn and more are willing to come to Nigeria. As the Chinese Consul General in Lagos, I hope these Chinese companies can continue to stay and will ensure more of them come to Nigeria to invest.”

He said further that the drop in the price of crude oil is an opportunity for both countries to explore other areas with the present administration’s promise to enact new policies to diversify Nigeria’s economy in sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

He stressed further that if the two countries work closely as a common destiny, both countries can come up with a workable plans or solutions for the economic growth, adding, “Nigeria is also a major destiny for Chinese out-bound capital. By the end of 2015, China’s non-financial direct investment to Nigeria was 1.55 billion US dollars, 17.6 per cent more than that of 2014.

“Furthermore, Nigeria has witnessed a series of major projects by the Chinese enterprises such as Abuja Light Rail, Lagos Rail Mass Transit System and Abuja-Kaduna railway, which have greatly improved the infrastructure of Nigeria and improved the life of Nigerian people,” he noted further

Xiaoliang therefore assured that the Chinese people will never forget that Nigeria and other developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin-America stood up to outside pressures, held on “One China Policy”, and fully supported China’s in restoring its legitimate seat in the United Nations.

“Nigeria is an important partner of China and the biggest economy and most populous country in Africa. China will firmly implement the policy of “sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith” towards Nigeria and Africa, uphold the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit, join hands with Nigeria for win-win cooperation and persist in planning and promoting bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective,” he said.