*Seeks more cooperation from Africa, Nigeria
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Chinese Government yesterday in Benin, Edo State, presented N100, 000 scholarship award to 47 indigenous university students studying in the state.
The benefiting students were drawn from University of Benin, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and Edo University, Iyamho.
Making the presentation on behalf of government of the People’s Republic of China, the country’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian said the scholarship presentation was a clear demonstration of the Chinese government’s zeal to foster mutual cooperation between Nigeria and China in order to build communities of share future.
Pingjian also commended the rise in other areas of cooperation between countries of Africa and China, since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 50 years ago.
Addressing the beneficiaries, the Chinese ambassador, said since the establishment of bilateral relationship, the two countries have achieved remarkable progress which he said was clearly demonstrated during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2016
He said during the visit of President Buhari, the President of China, Xi Jinping reached a consensus to deepen China-Nigeria strategic partnership across board, adding that the relationship entered herald a new stage of rapid development.
He said Nigeria’s trade with China, accounts for 20 per cent of her foreign trade.
“Nigeria and China enjoys a lot of similarities and I couldn’t agree more when people say Nigeria and China share similarities you can imagine how great it will be if we work more together and take advantage of the population we both have as a country. China diplomatic ties with Nigeria are that of brotherliness especially since the establishment of ties between the two countries in 1971. Again, China diplomatic ties with Africa countries have seen a steady rise, also since the setting up of Forum on China-Africa Coorperation (FOCAC), in 2000.
“In 2000, China trade with Africa was only $10 billion, but today, it is 17 times larger than that figure. Similarly, China investment in Africa was only $500 million, but today, it is more than $10 billion investment.
“FOCAC has become a model in South South Cooperation; we can build a better future and make the difference through a win-win Cooperation,” he said.