Chinese President Xi Jinping has invited President Muhammadu Buhari to China on a State Visit on a yet-to-be-announced date, as disclosed by the Chinese chargé d’affaires Qin Jian, to the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
This came about as the APC, on Wednesday signaled its intention to enter into partnership and cooperation with the Communist Party of China (CPC), the founding and ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
It is equally seen as a result of the meeting between APC National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni and a Chinese government delegation led by the chargé d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Qin Jian. The meeting was held at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.
Mai Mala Buni who was represented at the meeting by APC’s Director of Organisation, Alhaji Kyari Abubakar, in his address said:
China is a very important technical and trading partner to Nigeria. Both countries have enjoyed excellent social, economic and cultural relations. As China is aware, Nigeria recently witnessed a change of government which ushered in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. The time for better cooperation between both countries is now as the APC and the President Buhari administration works to deliver on its Change mandate.”
He said healthy relations between Nigeria and China will ultimately be of benefit to Africa. At party level, the APC National Secretary identified capacity building and collaboration as areas where Nigeria’s APC and Chinese CPC can partner.
Meanwhile, Qin Jian reported that during the successful December 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit which brought together Chinese senior government officials and most African heads of government to Johannesburg, South Africa, the Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a $60 billion aid package for Africa.
He said the aid package would finance a broad range of assistance programmes to help Africa industrialize, modernize its agricultural production, boost the skills of its workers, build infrastructure and improve its health care.
Qin Jian in his statement said 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and China.
We (China) have enjoyed positive and beneficial partnership with Nigeria in healthcare, economy, infrastructure development, social/cultural exchange and other areas… Nigeria has the biggest economy in Africa and is a very important partner with China.
The Chinese CPC and Nigeria’s ruling APC will pursue better cooperation which will be of benefit to both nations. Both parties can share experiences on how to develop the economy and protect the environment as well as technical support and capacity building where necessary.”