The year 2021 has been described as very vital for China-Nigeria relations, the Chinese Charge d’ Affairs to Nigeria, Mr Zhao Yong has said.
Yong said China is ready to work with Nigerian friends to speed up implementation of consensus reached recently by both countries.
He spoke on Wednesday on the occasion of the celebration of the Chinese lunar new year and as well as the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria.
He said, “The year 2021 is vital for China-Nigeria relations. We are ready to work with Nigerian friends to sped up the implementation of the consensus reached during the visit by H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister of China last month, and continuously push forward the development of China-Nigeria strategic partnership so as build a stronger and closer China-Nigeria community with shared future.” He also revealed that 2021 marks the centenary of the communist party of China.
Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Dr Ifeoma Anyanwutaku,calls for deeper reflections, solidarity and cooperation in strategic areas of interests to advance diplomatic relations with China in the future.
Reflecting on the past 50 years, Anyanwutaku said that both countries had witnessed substantial progress in mutually beneficial cooperation as China had become one of Nigeria’s top trading partners in recent years. In her words, “Our diplomatic relations is 50 years today and Nigeria and China have continued to achieve and witness fast growing pragmatic bilateral relations through strategic partnership in the areas of culture, economy, infrastructure and more importantly in trade and financing.”
“In recent years, under the strategic friendship of President Muhammadu Buhari and President Xi Jinping, the relationship between China and Nigeria has reached a new crescendo unmatched in history; bringing tangible benefits to our countries and people.
“At this auspicious occasion of our anniversary of diplomatic ties, we must recognise that 50 years is a very important landmark for the Nigeria-China relationship.
“And I can only call for deeper reflections, solidarity and cooperation in strategic areas of interests. Nigeria remains committed to our relations and we hope the future brings more progress and prosperity to both countries,” Anyawukatu said.
Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, while speaking to media men, said that the cultural exchanges between Nigeria and China had thrived in the past 50 years, with commitments to build them stronger. He commended the bilateral relations between both counties, noting that it would grow even better in the coming years. In his words, “Since 1971 when this bilateral relation started, we have been working very assiduously to make it better. That is why the Chinese community in Nigeria has been involved in some skills acquisition training for some Nigerians and we are also doing the same thing for them. During our last International Arts and Craft Expo, we trained a lot of Chinese people so it is an exchange programme.”
The event also showcased a photo exhibition of Nigeria-China friendship with elite collections of 50-award winning photos from China-Nigeria National Day and solidarity in defeating COVID-19.
Present at the event are Ambassador Akinremi Bolaji, Director, Consular Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Kasimu Bello Maigari, member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and many other government functionaries. It was an event that shows the display of rich Nigeria and China Culture by young Nigerians.