Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R front) and his wife Cheng Hong (2nd R) arrive at the airport for a visit in Abuja, Nigeria, May 6, 2014.(Xinhua/Li Tao)
May 6th, 2014
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived here Tuesday for a visit to Nigeria, the second leg of his first Africa visit since he took office in 2013.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and is an important partner of China in the continent, Li said in a statement issued upon his arrival. China and Nigeria have maintained close high-level communication and the bilateral strategic partnership has been advancing, said Li.
“I am looking forward to holding in-depth exchanges with Nigerian leaders on bilateral ties and issues with common concerns,” he said, hoping that his visit will help promote traditional friendship, chart the development of mutually beneficial cooperation and boost bilateral ties.
The Chinese premier is scheduled to attend the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa and meet African leaders in the Nigerian capital. He will also meet Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Before Nigeria, Li went to Ethiopia,where he visited the headquarters of the African Union and delivered a speech there to expound China’s Africa policy. Li will also travel to Angola and Kenya during his four-nation Africa tour.
PREMIER LI’S VISIT TO DEEPEN CHINA-NIGERIA TIES
ABUJA, May 6 (Xinhua)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s ongoing three-day visit to Nigeria is expected to boost cooperation between China and the West African country, said officials and analysts.
“Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa while China is the biggest developing country in the world, and the relationship between Nigeria and China has been very cordial,” Gu Xiaojie, Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, said in an interview with Xinhua. “The trade between China and Nigeria is growing rapidly, and people of the two countries have solid relationship,” said Gu.
Li’s visit will strengthen mutual political trust, as well as expand bilateral cooperation in various fields, Gu said, noting that Nigeria has its urgent needs in infrastructure development,energy and hydropower.
China has been a leading partner of Nigeria in developing new infrastructure and rehabilitating the existing ones. “Through this visit, the leaders of the two countries will reach a consensus on the development of bilateral relations, which will also create a good environment for economic, trade and investment cooperation,” he added.
Li arrived in Abuja earlier on Tuesday for a visit to Nigeria, the second leg of his first Africa visit since he took office in 2013. The Chinese premier is scheduled to attend the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa and meet African leaders in the Nigerian capital.
During his stay, Premier Li and his delegation are also expected to work together with the Nigerian government to further strengthen their cooperation in the economic field.”From the economic perspective, China-Africa cooperation brings China necessary resources for economic development and brings Africa inexpensive but nice products,” Li Zhibiao,a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said before Li’s visit.
Wole Akande, a Nigeria-born international economic expert, said the strength of Chinese delegation to the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa “is an indication of the seriousness which Beijing attaches to its economic relationship with Africa, and Nigeria in particular.”
Nigerian Vice President Namadi Sambo said the established Nigeria-China Joint Commission is to be upgraded to enhance closer economic ties. “Nigeria currently stands as the third biggest trading partner with China in Africa and is aspiring to be the biggest one,” the vice president said ahead of Li’s visit.
Besides economic cooperation, cultural and educational exchange programs between the two countries have also contributed immensely to their blossoming ties. “The bilateral relations between the two countries have grown progressively over the years to the mutual benefits of their two peoples,” the Nigerian Foreign
CHINA-AFRICA TIES TO ENTER NEW ERA
BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhua)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s African trip will help create an upgraded version of China-Africa all-round cooperation and carry forward the relationship to a new era.
This is another significant diplomatic move taken by China’s new leadership in the new circumstances, after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s maiden overseas trip in March 2013.
Chinese top leaders’ frequent visits to the continent show that Africa is of significant importance to China’s foreign policy, and that the relationship between the two sides has stood the test of time.
MUTUAL POLITICAL SUPPORT
The relations between the two sides have entered a “golden period,” and the two sides share closely-linked destinies,said Li prior to and during his trip.
China and Africa have always supported each other and treated each other as equals during the course of national liberalization and construction, said Li, who is visiting Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya.
Actually, the seeds of affinity were sown in the mid-20th century, when the Chinese and African peoples supported each other in their just cause of fighting imperialism to gain national independence.
On October 25, 1971,China resumed its legal status in the United Nations largely due to support from the developing world,including many African countries. Late Chinese leader Mao Zedong said with humor: “It’s our African brothers that have carried us into the U.N.”
In October 2000, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was launched. In 2006, China and Africa agreed to upgrade their relationship to a new type of strategic partnership featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges.
Fifty years after late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai’s landmark visit to the continent, Li’s visit is crucial to further deepen the China-Africa comprehensive cooperative partnership. China supports Africa in solving Africa’s problems in an African way and stands ready to assist Africa’s capacity-building in such areas as peace-keeping, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy, Li said.
Reaffirming the defining feature of China-Africa relations as sincerity, friendship, mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, which was first summed up by Xi during his visit to Africa last year, Li said past interactions are great treasures to his country and continue to nurture the development of bilateral ties.