Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday exchanged congratulatory messages with his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.
In his message, Xi noted that over the past half century, the two countries have seen their traditional friendship growing stronger and practical cooperation bearing rich fruit, and have coordinated closely on international and regional affairs.
In recent years, the China-Nigeria strategic partnership has shown a sound momentum of development, and has effectively improved people’s well-being in both countries, Xi said.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, China has joined hands with African nations, including Nigeria, to fight it, which has demonstrated the brotherly friendship between China and Africa featuring solidarity in the face of adversity, he added.
Xi stressed that he attaches great importance to the development of China-Nigeria relations, and stands ready to work with Buhari to take the 50th anniversary as an opportunity to make positive contributions to the building of a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
He suggested that the two sides carry forward their traditional friendship and deepen cooperation in various fields within the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
For his part, Buhari said that since the establishment of the diplomatic ties 50 years ago, Nigeria and China have been trusting each other and working closely, and have achieved fruitful results in cooperation, bringing enormous benefits for the two countries and their people.
Nigeria appreciates China’s support in such fields as railway, highway, electric power and national defense, Buhari said, adding that China has been fighting together with Nigeria and other African countries against COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic, which enriches the connotation of the bilateral ties.
Facing major global challenges, the two countries have been upholding multilateralism and the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and also staying committed to defending common interests of developing countries, the Nigerian president said.
Nigeria is willing to work with China to ensure a successful meeting of the FOCAC this year, he added.