COVID-19: Centre urges media to save Nigeria-China relationship
In the face of ongoing attacks on China over discrimination against Nigerians in the country, the Centre for China Studies has called on the media to save the relationship between Nigeria and China from going sour.
Director of the centre, Charles Onunaiju, who made the call yesterday in Abuja, noted that the relationship between the two countries was too vital to be distracted by the “exigencies and nuances of transitional rules in epidemic control.”
While Onunaiju could not dismiss glaring cases of discrimination and assaults against Nigerians in some parts of China, he, however, blamed the circumstances on overzealous of some Chinese citizens, who had no consent of the government.
According to him, the issue of abuse of Nigerians in China could be likened to cases of extra-judicial killings by some untamed security officers, which had no consent or formal approval of the government, adding: “China cannot and will never condone racism against anyone, having experienced racism in the past and felt the negative impacts. I don’t think China will target Africa for abuse.”
But Onunaiju also blamed Nigerians in Guangzhou for allegedly declining to be tested for Coronavirus after they were seen to have been mingling with a restaurant operator that has already tested positive for the virus.
He, therefore, urged the media to contribute positively in information management by being more objective in their reportage, stressing that misinformation could be deadlier than Coronavirus.
“Nothing can separate Nigeria and China, because the diplomatic cooperation established in 1971 between the two countries have nurtured profound and dynamic exchanges and has since 2005 transformed into a quality brand of strategic partnership.
“Nigeria-China bilateral relation is at its best with more room to improve and strictures of rules in epidemic control and containment, despite the inconveniences it may pose, cannot and should not vitiate one of the world’s most successful bilateral engagements,” Onunaiju stated.
He also attempted to assuage the fears of Nigerians regarding China’s role in assisting Nigeria combat the spread of COVID-19, describing as rumour, some allegations against China in the manufacture and spread of the virus.
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