Beijing Summit will strengthen Nigeria-China relations, says envoy

President Buhari and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping

The Chinese Deputy Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lin Jing, has said the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit, scheduled for September in Beijing would strengthen Nigeria-China bilateral relations.

Jing, who made the statement on Friday in Abuja at a roundtable on the summit said that the event would consolidate the agenda of the Belt and Road initiative.

Belt and Road is a massive trade and infrastructure project that aims at linking China with dozens of economies across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Oceania.

According to Jing, the FOCAC summit would bring Chinese and African leaders together to discuss China-Africa cooperation in the new era.

He said that the leaders would focus on jointly advancing the Belt and Road initiative and turning China and Africa into a community with a shared future.

“By aligning the Belt and Road initiative with UN-s 2013 agenda, the AU 2063 and development strategies of individual African countries.

“We will give wing to China-Africa cooperation to develop at an accelerated pace.

“We firmly believe the forthcoming summit is bound to be great success which will deliver bountiful benefits for both Chinese and African peoples.”

The envoy added that the initiative would provide a new opportunity to synergize China and Nigeria development strategies.

“In our new endeavour to build a global community with a shared future, Africa is an indispensable partner,” he said.

The Desk Officer for Asia-Pacific in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aminu Abdulhameel, noted that Nigeria-China diplomatic relations had been on for 47 years.

“There have been many attempts by both governments to consolidate this relationship.

“We believe in foreign affairs that Road and Belt initiative under FOCAC is going to provide avenue for the relationship to be further strengthened.

“We will ensure that China and Nigeria relationship is taken to a better height. The summit will provide an avenue for Africa and China come together to further strengthen relationship,” he said

Mr Simon Ileuma, the Deputy Director International Cooperation in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said that China had played a key role in the development of Nigeria’s economy.

He said that the Chinese government had been supportive to the Nigerian economy and that Nigerians should explore the opportunity provided by the forthcoming FOCAC. (NAN)
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