China’s rising stake in the Nigerian economy has climbed up to about $40bn, so said its Foreign Affairs Minister, Wang Yi, on Wednesday during a bilateral meeting with his Nigerian counterpart, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
The claim comes against the backdrop of Nigeria’s official endorsement of the ‘One China’ policy which shuts out the country’s recognition of Taiwan as a sovereign entity.
Speaking on Wednesday, Yi said, “Nigeria and China are strategic partners; our relations have been developing well, China has already invested or financed a total number of $22billion projects here in Nigeria; another $23billion projects are on-going.
“In addition, we are also following up another over $40billion of investments which is in the pipeline.”
He added, “Compared with the size, population and market of our two countries, our cooperation still has large potential to be deepened.”
Onyeama acknowledging China’s rising intervention in Nigeria’s economy said, “I think the level of cooperation with China is extremely high and Chinese government is investing amount of money in Nigeria and probably is going up to $60 to $80 billion and we are extremely happy for that.”
Nigeria’s growing inclination towards China, perhaps, explains the decision of both parties to also sign an agreement on Wednesday to uphold the ‘One China’ policy.
The agreement was signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both countries. In doing so, both countries reaffirmed their respect for each other’s sovereignty.
Onyeama said: “Taiwan does not enjoy any diplomatic privilege because it is not a country, that is recognised and under any international law, and under the position we have taken internationally, we recognize the People Republic of China as the sole representative of its people and also they will be moving to Lagos, to the extent that they will function as trade mission with skeletal staff.”
Nigeria has steadily courted China since the inception of the Buhari-led administration, and Chinese firms have increasingly become major players in the construction sector with multi-billion projects strewn all over the country.
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