By Victoria Ojeme

The Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs will be on a two-day working visit to Nigeria between Monday 4th to Tuesday 5th January 2021.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye said said “Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Peoples’ Republic of China, together with a number of high-ranking Chinese Government Officials, will pay a two-day official visit to Abuja, from Monday 4 January 2021.”

He said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, will receive his “Chinese counterpart in audience and they will discuss a number of issues relating to strengthening Nigeria/China relations, and the promotion of common interests in the multilateral fora. It is expected that the Ministers of Transportation, Trade and Investment, Health, and Defence, to mention a few, will participate in the bilateral discussions.”

He said the Ministers will hold a Joint Press Briefing, and the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs will accompany his Chinese counterpart to pay a courtesy visit on President Mohammadu Buhari.

This is part of a wider China Foreign Minister official visit to other African countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Botswana and Seychelles from January 4-9.

The visit to African countries at the start of the year is a tradition that dates back to January 1991 and is aimed at cementing ties between African countries and China. Wang’s trip is a striking example of a relationship built through constancy.

Wang Yi said, Chinese Foreign Ministers have come to Africa for the first visit every year. It has been going on for 30 years. This is unique in the history. China does not change its initial heart and has been doing this ever since.

“First of all, this is based on the special feelings of friendship from generation to generation and sharing weal and woe between China and Africa. China-Africa friendship has a long history. Especially in modern times, the two sides fought together for national independence and liberation, shared weal and woe, supported each other, formed a brotherly friendship, and became each others’ trusted good friend.

“In the period of development and construction, we joined together again and made progress hand in hand, and became good partners for mutual benefit and win-win progress. For decades, no matter how the international have changed, the friendship between China and Africa has become even stronger, and the torch has been handed down on and on. Our relations have stood up to the test, eliminated the disturbance, and become a model for international relations and South-South cooperation,” he said.

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He said it is also based on the realistic needs of deepening cooperation and common development between China and Africa.

“China is the largest developing country, and Africa is the continent where developing countries are most concentrated. We are natural partners, complementary to each other’s advantages, and have unlimited cooperation space and potential.

“In recent years, we have achieved results such as the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the consensus of building a community with a shared future, the co-construction of “Belt and Road Initiative” and China-Africa pilot projects for production capacitycooperation, and so on. All of which have brought groundbreaking influence in the history of China-Africa relations, and helped push China-Africa cooperation into a new era.

“China is full of confidence in the prospects for Africa’s development, full of confidence in the future of China-Africa cooperation, and will promote China-Africa cooperation to be in the frontline of international cooperation with Africa.

“Third, it is based on the important mission of strengthening international cooperation and safeguarding common interests between China and Africa. Nowadays, the world is becoming less peaceful, especially in recent years, unilateralism and power politics prevailed, the Cold War mentality is overflowing. Developing countries including Africa have suffered greatly from this.

“There is an urgent need to strengthen communication and coordination between China and Africa, reveal the power of solidarity, send a common voice, safeguard the legitimate rights of the Chinese and African people to oppose outside interference, pursue fairness and justice, and lead a better life,” he said.

Wang Yi will leave Abuja on Tuesday, 5 January 2021.

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