Why we established Belt and Road Initiative – Ji, ex-China Vice Minister
From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
The federal government, has said that China is a model for all developing countries around the world to emulate.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this in Abuja when he received a Chinese delegation led by Mr. Ji Peiding.
Ji, a former Vice Minister in charge of Foreign Policy of the Peoples Republic of China, served in the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria from 1971 to 1979.
On his entourage were Mr. Lv Fengding, who was ambassador to Nigeria from 1996 to 1999 and Mr. Du Qiwen, who served as Director-General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s African Affairs Department and Policy Research Department from 2002 to 2006.
Onyeama noted that the relationship between China and Nigeria, was an age-long relationship, including the relationship between China and Africa.
He stated that Africans would never forget the support received from China during the African continent’s transition from colonialism to independence.
The minister said that China was steadfast in her support of African countries, even as he said China stood firmly with Africa during the years of the cold war.
Africa’s bond with Chinese people, Onyeama further said, is extremely strong, saying that that was the reason African countries played an important role to ensure that the Peoples Republic of China became the representative of the Chinese people in the United Nations when it wanted to join the world body.
“Of course, for today, China is a model for developing countries, a model of how a government with a vision and with discipline can transform a huge country and lift millions and millions of people out of poverty,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama also recalled President Muhammadu Buhari’s state visit to China in April 2016, and said the visit was excellent.
He also recalled Nigeria’s participation at Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa in 2015, saying that it was a manifestation of the solidarity of the Chinese people and the Chinese Government with the people of Africa.
In his remarks, Ji said they were in the country to attend the international seminar on Nigeria-China relations and the prospects to realise industrial and production capacity cooperation.
Ji said the whole idea of establishing the Belt and Road Initiative, according to President Xi Jinping, was to build a new community which will provide a fair and just place to developed and developing countries.
“One Belt, One Road, is quite a good idea. It is representing China and the new economies of developing countries,” Ji said.