By Bukar Bolori
The People Republic of China has reiterated her commitments towards strengthening bilateral relations with Nigeria for common developmental goals.
The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun said this while answering questions from journalists at the weekend during the celebration the Lunar New Year of Rabbit in Nigeria by the Chinese Embassy in Abuja.
He noted that the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries had bridged cultural differences and fostered a sense of community and harmony.
The envoy said that the celebration would help the Chinese community in Nigeria to mark the upcoming Spring Festival and offer an opportunity for Nigerian people to understand Chinese culture.
He said: “This is one part two of the celebration for the Chinese Lunar New Year. And the second also is very important that how can we have a big vision for the New Year Chinese lunar year 2023. I want to take this opportunity in the year to 2022 the two countries two peoples or two countries, we have done a lot for the two nations.
“We can see that the tangible result for example, infrastructure including the deep sea port, the railway highway, the airport and hydropower plant, ICT investment in agriculture and also industry in different states.”
He added that: “China and Nigeria, we have done a lot in the year 2022. We are expecting that we can do more in the year 2023.
“I have my confidence you will notice that the big things will happen in the year 2023. Not only election, this the biggest festival in Nigeria and also is big for China.
“We are embarking on the new centenary goal by year 2049. At that time is the year of a 100 year celebration for new China.
“So I think that this is the first thing that I want to let you know. And second part that I want to share with you here. This is not only about the policy and diplomacy, it is about the government and the relations really is about the people.”
The permanent secretary, ministry of information and culture, Lydia Shehu Jafiya, said Nigeria-China cultural exchanges continue to play a vital role in promoting tourism between the two countries by offering a glimpse into Chinese culture, customs and traditions while encouraging more Nigerians to visit China, and vice versa.
She said: “Nigeria and China share a close affinity in cuisine, hospitality and festivals. Hence, the rapid growth of our deep fraternal, cultural cord is incontestable, adding that: “I am proud of the outstanding cultural ties existing between our dear nations, which have flourished nonstop for decades.”