By Vera Samuel Anyagafu

AT the just concluded Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival celebration in Lagos, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, Mr. Liu Kan said the Chinese government is committed to ensuring formidable bilateral ties with Nigeria, adding that China is no stranger to Nigeria and many African countries. Liu said that with several projects spanning the previous few decades, Africa has always been cherished as the ‘foundation of the foundation’ in Chinese diplomacy.

Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, Mr. Liu Kan
Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria, Mr. Liu Kan

He disclosed this at the Chinese Spring of Festival celebration in Lagos, where he also restated Chinese government’s commitment to deepening closer diplomatic ties with Nigeria, even in the years ahead, According to him, the Chinese Spring Festival celebration, which displayed varieties of Chinese cultural troupe, is a top festival in China and a time to express good wishes and hopes, “During the celebration, special songs are sung to suit the mood of the festival and we are happy sharing this joy with our Nigerian friends and business counterparts.”

He also stated that his government will maintain promises made at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, adding that, President Xi’s frequent contact with Africa shows that the Chinese government has been paying much attention to African continent. The Johannesburg Summit, according to Liu, agreed to lift China-Africa relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, saying that his government is placing more weight on Africa, and it is a common need of China and African countries, particularly Nigeria, to enhance cooperation.

“During the summit, a package of initiatives proposed by President Xi to strengthen China-Africa ties and support Africa’s development in the coming three years, was warmly welcomed by all African leaders. The 10 major plans covered industrialization, agricultural modernization, financial services and green development, including trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health and people-to-people exchanges”, Liu added.

He said that the FOCAC programmes focused more on breaking the three development bottlenecks of underdeveloped infrastructure, talent shortage and inadequate funds, while accelerating industrialization and agricultural modernization to realize independent and sustainable development, expected to encourage more Chinese companies to carry out more projects in Africa.

However, the Chinese New Year, known as the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival for all Chinese, with more than a 4,000-year history. A good number of Chinese who attended the colourful celebration ascertained that friendship between Chinese and Nigerians is cordial and will continue to grow stronger through close interactions between both countries.

Many believe that with the invitation and performance of the Chinese troupe in Nigeria, cultural ties between Chinese and Nigerians will be deepened, saying that they are looking forward to more committed cultural exchanges between Nigeria and China, as well as cultivate stronger bonds between the two great nations. The Consul General also commended the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the Chinese State Council and the China Overseas Exchange Association, for bringing the troupe to Nigeria to further solidify diplomatic affairs between both governments.

“Nowadays, with the deepening of China’s Reform and opening up, Spring Festive has earned more popularity globally, and become an important component of the world colorful cultures. At the moment of joyfully celebrating Chinese New Year, Overseas Chinese in Nigeria are so glad to welcome the debut of “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” Art troupe in Lagos, the troupe is organized by Overseas Chinese Affairs office of Chinese State Council and China Overseas Exchange Association and enjoys more and more popularity among overseas Chinese, Liu said.

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