OLIVIA KALU, Abuja
The evening of Thursday, July 27, 2017, was like any other, except that the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China gathered the military top brass to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
In attendance were the Director, Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, Nigeria Police spokesman, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, and a handful of members of the Diplomatic community.
Also at the colourful ceremony, which held within the premises of the Chinese Embassy, Abuja, were defence attachés cutting across the various embassies in Abuja.
In his remarks, the military attaché, Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Col. Wang Runxu, stressed the importance and sensational progress of the relationship between China and Nigeria, which has been developing for decades.
Runxu recalled the epochal and historic visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to China on April 11, 2016, where both countries renewed their cooperation in various fields.
Runxu said President Buhari and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, during the visit, outlined the future direction of China and Nigeria’s strategic partnership.
Similarly, Runxu recalled that, earlier this year, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Wang Yi, paid a visit to Nigeria, promoting the relationship between the two countries.
Both the Chinese Foreign Minister and his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, had, during the visit, reaffirmed the One China policy.
According to Runxu, “We are confident the friendship between our two countries will be strengthened to a new height.
“In the military area, the friendly exchange and pragmatic cooperation between the PLA and Nigerian Armed Forces are fruitful. The cooperation in defence industry and arms trade between our two countries has been strengthened.
“The equipment of military trade and donation from China to Nigeria played a positive role in counter-terrorism, safeguarding maritime and airspace security, and other military operations by Nigerian Armed Forces.”
Runxu said the government and the people of China expected that the cooperation, exchange, training and military industry will continue to develop.
As things stand at the moment and going by the current cooperation between Nigeria and China in various fields, it is discernible that the Peoples’ Republic of China places high importance on Nigeria and its people and would continue to cherish the bilateral friendship.