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Nigeria, China Sign Agreement to Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

Nigeria, China Sign Agreement to Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

By Matthew Eloyi

Nigeria and China have signed a joint agreement to enhance exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, disclosed this in a joint statement in China. Yi is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The two ministers co-chaired the first Plenary Session of the China-Nigeria Intergovernmental Committee, signing a statement focused on promoting regional and global peace through joint efforts. According to the ministers, this agreement will advance security operations, trade, law enforcement, and national sovereignty for both nations.

“The two countries restated their commitment to enhancing the mutual bond and friendship between their peoples through mutual exchanges, learning, and understanding,” the ministers stated. “They are willing to continue building cultural brands like the Happy Chinese New Year, Chinese-Nigeria Culture Week, Chinese-Nigeria Film Festival, and Abuja International Art Fair.”

The agreement includes plans to strengthen mutual visits and exchanges between art groups and personnel, promote human resources training in culture and tourism, and support creative cultural cooperation. Both sides also aim to enhance cooperation in publishing, film and television production, cultural heritage, libraries, museums, and tourism promotion.

The ministers confirmed their readiness to maintain regular contacts and communication at all levels, planning the second Plenary Session of the China-Nigeria Intergovernmental Committee and its Sub-committees. They reviewed the positive outcomes achieved since establishing diplomatic relations over the past 50 years and planned future bilateral relations. They also exchanged views on China-Africa relations and major international and regional issues, reaching a wide consensus.

Both countries pledged to support each other’s aspirations in various international fora, including the UN, G20, and BRICS. “The government of Nigeria acknowledges that there is but one China in the world and that the government of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and Nigeria opposes any separatist activities of ‘Taiwan independence’ in any form,” the statement added. Nigeria also expressed support for China’s national reunification efforts.

The agreement also includes commitments to good governance, democratic values, peace, security, and stability in the Sahel region, recognizing Nigeria’s leading role in fighting terrorism and transborder crimes. Both sides agreed on the importance of infrastructure development and sectoral cooperation for regional economic viability.

Wang commended President Bola Tinubu’s leadership in ECOWAS and efforts to stabilize the sub-region. Tuggar expressed Nigeria’s support for the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping.

The ministers reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the rights and dignity of each other’s citizens and creating a business-friendly environment. “The two sides agreed to support each other’s efforts to promote reunification, ethnic unity, and social harmony, and to enhance political mutual trust,” they noted.

They stressed the importance of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and international peace and development, with Nigeria supporting China in hosting the 2024 FOCAC Summit. The agreement also calls for strengthening multilateral cooperation and upholding the international system centred on the United Nations and international law.

Both countries are dedicated to advancing the high-quality Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and facilitating synergies with FOCAC outcomes and Nigeria’s Renewed Hope Agenda. They aim to promote practical cooperation in various fields, including infrastructure, electricity, telecommunications, finance, agriculture, industry, mining, and free trade zones.

Additionally, they plan to explore cooperation in digital, green, and blue economies and foster new growth drivers. “The Chinese side is willing to expand imports of Nigerian agricultural products, while Nigeria calls for increased partnership in mining and solid mineral development and is willing to partner with Chinese companies to establish manufacturing facilities in Nigeria for local consumption and export,” the ministers said.

The agreement also highlights the commitment to creating a transparent, fair, and non-discriminatory business environment, strengthening the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, opposing trade protectionism, and promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. The two countries will encourage friendly relations between their provinces and municipalities and support science and technology upgrades in Nigeria’s military sector, including intelligence and capacity building to address security challenges.

“China expresses its commitment to supporting Nigeria in upgrading its science and technology in the military sector, equipment, and capacity building to respond more effectively to traditional and non-traditional security challenges at home and abroad, and to safeguard peace and stability,” the statement concluded.

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