One China Policy: Envoy seeks Nigerian support

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Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian, has appealed to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to support Nigeria’s “full execution’’ of One China Policy between both countries.

A statement by Mr Edegbe Odemwingie, APC`s Assistant Director of Publicity on Wednesday in Abuja, said that Pingjian made the request when he visited the party`s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The envoy said that his country had been on the Nigerian Government to implement the policy.

“Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari was in Beijing for a state visit and the Chinese President raised the issue.

“Upon resumption to Nigeria, Buhari sent out directives to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to honour and implement Nigeria’s One China policy, but unfortunately, it has not been fully executed,’’ he said.

He said that part execution of the policy contravened the policy, adding that his country was requesting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to fully implement and execute the policy.

Pingjian said that his country was also requesting a change of name from the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Taipei Trade Agency, Lagos.

“We are not sure if that has been done; we are also requesting the relocation of the Mission to Lagos, because Abuja is the political capital of Nigeria,’’ he said.

He explored areas of cooperation and collaboration between the APC and China`s governing party, the Communist Party of China (CPC).

“This year is a big one for party politics in China; every five years, we hold party conventions where we draw a new blueprint for the years ahead.

“That means major policy decisions will be made at the National Congress of the Communist Party of China,’’ Pingjian said.

He recalled that China and Nigeria had been in a mutual bilateral relationship since 1971.

According to him, Nigeria was one of the 23 countries that supported the United Nations General Assembles`vote to admit the People’s Republic of China.

The ambassador added that in 1999, Nigeria’s Ministry of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwan which led to the setting up of a Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Nigeria.

He disclosed that China had pledged and almost approved five billion dollars to support infrastructure projects in Nigeria.

Responding, APC chairman promised to take the ambassador`s request to the appropriate authorities.

He commended him for the cordial relationship that existed between China and Nigeria.

“We take the message very seriously and we will take it up.

“We must not let these issues stand in the way of very important and critical relationship between Nigeria and China,” the statement quoted Odigie-Oyegun as saying.

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