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Reflecting on 45 years of China-Nigeria diplomatic ties

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

02-06-2016 09:22 BJT

By Li Wengang, associate research fellow at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

On February 10, China and Nigeria will celebrate the 45th anniversary of of diplomatic relations. Both sides have shown mutual respect on sovereign and territorial integrity, while adhering to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. 

Nigeria has upheld the one China principle. In 2005, Beijing ratified the Anti-Secession Law, which received support from Nigeria.

In 1999, military rule in Nigeria had ended. In 2000, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was launched. 

In 2005, China and Nigeria had set up a strategic partnership that became one of the most important for China-Africa relations; as well as playing a crucial role in Beijing's ties with major developing countries.

High-level visits were prominent in China-Nigeria relations. In 2002 and 2006, former Chinese Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao had visited Nigeria, respectively. 

In 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Nigeria despite a deteriorating security situation, which reflected a sincerity of friendship amid adversity. 

In May 2015,Muhammadu Buhari won the election and became Negerian President. Chinese President Xi Jinping met him twice respectively in September in New York and in December in Johannesburg, which demonstrate China's close relations with Nigeria. 

China holds the China-Africa Economic & Trade Cooperation for openness, reciprocity, mutual benefit and win-win results. The two economies are highly complementary. 

Nigeria is China's third-largest trade partner in Africa, the largest engineering contracting market and the third-largest investment destination in the continent. 

Many Chinese enterprises, such as China Railway Construction Corporation(CRCC)、CGCOC、Huawei Technologies Corporation, Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation, have made significant contributions to Nigeria’s railways, roads, communications and other sectors nationwide. 

China has assisted Nigerian agriculture and infrastructure projects, to boost local economic developments and people's livelihood. China and Nigeria have great cultures. They have established more cross-cultural centers and exchanges. 

Learning the Chinese language has gotten more popular at the Confucius Institutes in the University of Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Some literary works of Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka have been published and sold in China. 

Chinese Universities have offered a course of the Hausa language  since the 1960s. Among China-Africa Universities, Suzhou University and the University of Lagos were selected for the 20+20 Cooperation Project by China’s Ministry of Education.

China Central Television’s CCTV 4 and CCTV 9 have set broadcast platforms in Nigeria. Star Times, a Chinese private enterprise, has helped with the broadcasting development of Nigeria and other African countries to benefit local people. 

Some Chinese TV dramas have been broadcast in Hausa, while TV programs from Nollywood are expected to serve as a bridge for the Chinese to understand Nigerian society and culture better. 

At the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting in Johannesburg in December, 2015, China-Africa cooperation and exchanges in films and TV were scheduled on the agenda. The two nations have a great potential to cooperate in this field. 

Both countries have played important roles in peace and security for Africa. Peacekeeping forces from China and Nigeria patrol many regions of Africa. 

They  could also strengthen cooperation on anti-terrorism and anti-extremism, combating the Gulf of Guinea pirates and other non-traditional security measures.

Although some Nigerian football players’ names are difficult to pronounce, Chinese fans love them. Nigeria’s national football team, "Super Eagle" had played well in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. 

The Chinese should follow Nigerian’s dedication to football to revitalize its national sports program, as well as to encourage more China-Nigerian cooperation in this field.

Looking ahead, the bilateral strategic partnership has great room for improvement. Both countries could cooperate in governance, anti-corruption, regional and international affairs. 

Beijing could help Nigeria in agriculture, industrialization, and poverty reduction. Buhari had also expressed a willingness to restart large-scale railway construction, since China is the top leader in the industry.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting has put forward ten major pragmatic cooperation programs. China-Nigeria ties would usher in a comprehensive upgrade for China and African countries.

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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