• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Buhari writes Jinping as Nigeria-China relations hit 50 years

Buhari writes Jinping as Nigeria-China relations hit 50 years

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday hailed China’s support for Nigeria as both countries mark 50 years of diplomatic relationship.

Buhari, in a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between the two countries, expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far and thanked China for its support in defence matters and infrastructural development of Nigeria, among others.

Nigeria-China bilateral relations over the past 50 years has grown to about $70bn with over 200 Chinese companies operating in various sectors in Nigeria, including construction, oil and gas and manufacturing.

President Buhari also rejoiced with Chinese people across the world as they commence celebrations marking the new Chinese Year of the Ox on February 12.

“It is now 50 years since the establishment of Nigeria-China diplomatic relations,” Buhari said, expressing delight “that the bilateral ties have achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of close coordination and mutual trust, bringing great benefits to our countries and peoples”.

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“As celebrations of the Chinese Year of the Ox by all Chinese across the world commence on February 12th this year, on behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I use this opportunity to extend my warmest and most sincere greetings and wishes to you and the Chinese people for a promising and auspicious Lunar New Year.

“Nigeria is very satisfied with the progress of bilateral relations, and we thank China for its support to us in various ways: in building rail, road, power, defence, and many other areas,” he said.

President Buhari noted that China has been working with Nigeria and other African countries since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the lives and health of Nigerians, adding new dimensions to the friendship between the two countries.

“We acknowledge that Chinese support tremendously strengthened our effort against the pandemic. Nigeria and China have also witnessed steady development of their strategic partnership. In the face of significant challenges faced by the international community, the two sides are upholding a common position of preserving multilateralism, not interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and safeguarding common interest of developing countries,” Buhari said.

“This year is vital for China-Nigeria relations. The FOCAC has become a model of mutually beneficial cooperation between Nigeria and China, as well as between Africa and China. Nigeria is ready to work with China to make the new session of FOCAC this year a success,” he said.