Consul General Yan Yuqing Publishes an Op-Ed Article in Nigerian Media with the Theme of China and Nigeria Joining Hands to Build Belt and Road and a Global Community of Shared Future for Mankind
2023-10-18 05:28

From October 13, 2023, Nigerianmainstream media Vanguard,theSun, ThisDay, DailyTrust, and local Chinese newpapers West Africa Chinese Newspaper, West Africa Chinese Newspapers, West Africa Business Weekly publishedan Op-Ed article written by Consul General of China in Lagos Ms. Yan Yuqing, with the theme of China and Nigeria Joining Hands to Build Belt and Road and a Global Community of Shared Future for Mankind - On the Occasion of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The full text is as follows:

Ancient Chinese philosophers Confucius and Mencius, who lived in China more than 2000 years ago, put forward the principle of “benevolence and love for the people and for the commonwealth of the world”, advocating treating others and the world with benevolence and love, and realizing the harmonious coexistence of all things. In this August, Chinese President H.E. Xi Jinping, pointed out the philosophy of Ubuntu in his speech at the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. Philosophyof Ubuntu origins from Africa, and believes that “I am because we are,” highlighting the interdependence and interconnectedness of all peoples.

On September 26 and October 10, China releases the white papers, namely A Global Community of Shared Future: China's Proposals and Actions and The Belt and Road Initiative: A Key Pillar of the Global Community of Shared Future. The white papers point out that, ten years ago President Xi Jinping propounded the idea of building a global community of shared future, and he raised the initiatives of joining with others to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI). His proposals light the path forward as the world fumbles for solutions. The past ten years have witnessed the steady increase in the depth and scope of the idea of building a global community of shared future, and the BRI has been a key pillar of realizing the idea.

The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in Beijing from October 17 to 18 under the theme “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity”. This is not only the highlight in commemorative events to mark the BRI’s 10th anniversary, but also an important platform for all partners to plan high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.Over 140 countries & 30 international organizations to attend Belt and Road Forum, sharing wisdom, seeking opportunities and creating the future together.

In the past ten years, China adheres to the BRI’s core principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and concepts of open, green and clean cooperation, and sets the objectives of high standards, sustainability, and better lives, pursuing high-quality cooperation. Orienting towards “hard connectivity” in infrastructure, bolstering “soft connectivity” through harmonized rules and standards, and strengthening people-to-people bonds, the BRI has become the world’s largest platform for international cooperation, with the broadest coverage.

China and Nigeria are building a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation. Nigeria is an important strategic partner of China in Africa. Over the past 52 years since the diplomatic relationship was established, the development of bilateral relations has enjoyed a sound momentum, supporting each other on issues involving respective core interests and major concerns, and have closely coordinated in international and regional affairs, jointly safeguarding the interests of developing countries and world peace and stability

China and Nigeria are building a world of common security for all through joint efforts. This July, the 43rd Chinese naval escort paid a five-day friendly visit to Nigeria, during which the two navies were engaged in pragmatic exchanges and cooperation on jointly combating crime and maintaining peace at sea, contributing to deepening the relations between China and Nigeria, jointly addressing regional security challenges and maintaining world peace and development.

China and Nigeria are building a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation. China’s bilateral trade with Nigeria approached $5.391 billion USD in the first quarter of 2023, recovering to pre-Covid levels. Chinese companies have been actively participating in projects such as the Lekki Deep Sea Port, the Dangote Refinery, the Lagos Blue Line Light Rail, the Lagos International Airport, and the Lagos-Ibadan Railway, significantly promoting local economic and social development. Projects like the China-Nigeria Friendship Model Primary School in Ogun State, and the FOA Primary School in Lagos State, co-funded by the Chinese Consulate General and Chinese enterprises, have borne fruitful results in improving people's livelihoods. The Confucius Institutes are increasingly accepted as prominent institutions for spreading Chinese culture and deepening China-Nigerian friendship.

China and Nigeria are buildingan open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning. Nigeria, like China, has thousands of years of glorious history and culture. People in the two countries share Chinese harmony and perform Nigeria-China Symphony during traditional Chinese festivals such as Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, as well as Nigerian traditional festivals such as Osun Festival and Igue Festival. In August this year, the Chinese Film Festival was successfully held in Lagos, making more Nigerian people perceive the charm of Chinese culture through the silver screen. The cultural interchange between China and Nigeria has made the garden of world civilization more splendid and colorful.

China and Nigeria are making our world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development.Promoting sustainable development and building an environmentally friendly society are the common goals of China-Africa and China-Nigeria cooperation. While creating economic benefits for the local community, Chineseenterprises in Nigeria are committed to green, low-carbon and sustainable development to better benefit the local people. For example, after Chinese mining enterprises carry out field operations in Nigeria, they have to realize green development through earth backfilling, vegetation restoration and water purification, etc., not only turning the "green mountains" to "golden mountains", but also guarding "green mountains" with "golden mountains". All these have won a lot of praise from the local people.

In the past ten years, all the roads, bridges and development belts that are constantly emerging in Nigeria has shown that, the BRI is not about China creating a closed "exclusive circle" for geopolitical competition; instead, it represents an inclusive "garden of opportunities" shared with countries around the world. It is a grand avenue of cooperation where China and Nigeria participate together, cooperate together, and benefit together.

At this moment, China’s economy is continuing to recover and make progress in a steady manner, with GDP growing by 5.5 % year-on-year in the first half of the year, demonstrating that China’s economy is still an important engine of growth for the world economy. China has the full capacity and confidence to promote the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. The President of Nigeria, Mr. Bola Tinubu, has put forward the “Renewed Hope” Plan, vigorously promoting Nigeria’s industrialization, agriculturalization and informatization, and promoting the building of a better Nigeria. China and Nigeria have complementary advantages and broad prospects for cooperation, and the two countries will surely achieve win-win results on the new journey of building the Belt and Road together.