Covid-19: Centre advises against jeopardising Nigeria/China multilateral cooperation



 The Centre for China Studies has advised against invitation to deliberately jeopardise the age long Nigeria/China multilateral cooperation over allegations of mistreatment of some Nigerians in China.

The centre’s Director, Mr Charles Onunaiju, gave the advice while briefing newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that informations emanating from China indicated that Nigerians and black Africans were racially abused and made targets of inappropriate COVID-19 testing procedures.

Onunaiju said the seemingly provocative actions of few Chinese security officials could not have been Chinese government directive, adding that the government had clear policy against racism and racial abuses.

“Few chinese officials may have behaved in a certain manner not in line with official directive when handling the COVID-19 testing of Nigerians and Africans.

“Let not the obvious exigency of the time vitiates the positive relationship that exists between the two countries. China’s multilateral cooperation with Nigeria has delivered quite some good results.

“The centre can authoritatively testify that China has good intention for Nigeria and black Africans. China cannot deliberately practice racism or abuse Nigerians.

“The new China is pure lover of African continent and, especially Nigeria, and we should not allow misinformation about COVID-19 theories to truncate this relationship,’’ Onunaiju.

He also said: “ The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China share strong symbolic identities as one obtained independence and the other secured national liberation on the 1st of October in 1960 and 1949 respectively’’.

“China is the largest developing nation in the world, just as Nigeria is the largest developing country in Africa.

“A diplomatic cooperation established in 1971 between the two countries has nurtured profound and dynamic exchanges and since 2005, transformed into a quality brand of strategic partnership.

“The Nigeria-China cooperation has deepened considerably and constitutes a strategic pivot to the dynamic prospect of China-Africa relation.

“We view with concerns some recent issues relating to the outbreak of the Covid-19 and the ramifications of several measure adopted by different countries to control and contain the virus,’’ he said.

According to him, both China and Nigeria are currently in line to vigorously combat and contain the virus.

Onunaiju explained that the reported misunderstanding was not unconnected with the stiff measures adopted by China to combat the virus, adding that the approach put enormous pressure on their citizens and visitors.

On whether the country’s demand of debt cancellation by China was justified, Onanaiju explained that China was already spearheading the campaign for debt cancellation for third world nations to allow their economies to stay afloat while fighting the pandemic.

“China is magnanimous in writing-off debts from low income nations in Africa. They have continued to oblige African nations with concessional loans. It has been a routine,’’ he said.

Onunaiju, however, urged the media not to give visibility to the fifth columnist bent on spreading misinformation aimed at destroying the country’s healthy multilateral cooperation with China. (NAN)

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