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Trust, partnership essential in building Nigeria-China relations- Okorocha

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[FILES] Rochas Okorocha. Photo/TWITTER/IAMJOEZY/REALROCHAS

Sen. Rochas Okorocha, Chairman Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism says trust and partnership beyond support are key to building a more sustaining relation between Nigeria and China.

Okorocha stated this at the Patriotic Song Competition and International Exhibition of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to mark it Centennial Anniversary on Thursday in Abuja.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by the Chinese Cultural Centre in Abuja, with emphasis on strengthening the People to People relations between China and Nigeria.

Okorocha commended the CPC for its policies which had made China the economic capital of the world and the 50 years of bilateral relations with Nigeria, which has thrived greatly.

He also lauded the government of China for emphasising on the People to People relations between both countries, stating that it was the best way to strengthen bilateral ties.

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Okorocha, however, noted that Nigeria needed the trust and partnership of China to achieve its development strides, beyond just support.

“Culture is very key and we have talked about people to people and that is the best way to go.

”Some of the relationships we have had with nations of the world hangs at the governmental level and does not trickle down to the people to people relationship
”What we are looking for from the Chinese people is not help or support, we are looking for partnership.

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”We say so because what China represents in Asia in terms of population is what Nigeria represent in Africa.

”So if China has succeeded, Nigeria must succeed in Africa and we need your partnership to do so. However in every relationship what is key is trust,” Okorocha said.

Okorocha also urged the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria to build a new level of trust between the Chinese and Nigerian people, to achieve the people to people relations.

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He noted that Nigerians in China felt insecured, because they are not trusted by the Chinese, as they are being looked upon as criminals.

The lawmaker added that, “Nigerians also do not trust the Chinese, because they felt they were in the habit of flooring their markets with substandard products.
“I want to urge that you deal with the criminals differently from the Nigerians who are in China.

”I found that Nigerians again don’t trust the Chinese people to people initiative because they feel they ferry their quality goods to America, UK and Germany, while the substandard are pushed to Nigeria.

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”The Ambassador has explained to me that it is what Nigerians ask for that the Chinese give to them.

”But I want to plead that China should go back and maintain the Chinese standard that they give what they give to America, UK and Germany, to Nigeria.

”No matter the pressure from Nigerian businessmen to cut costs, the Chinese must say no, so that this trust can be built, and by so doing, will not affect our future relationship,” Okorocha stressed.

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On his part, Mr Cui Jianchun, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, noted that in recent years, China and Nigeria had witnessed closer People-to-people exchanges and beneficial cooperation in various fields.

Cui said that this could be seen in the cultural and educational exchange programmes, where almost 7,000 Nigerian students have enrolled in Chinese Universities, covered by a wide range of scholarships.

”The General Secretary of the CPC and President of China, Xi Jinping has proposed to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

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”People to people exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, especially young generation, is an important way to achieve such a big plan.

”Over the past 100 years, the CPC united and led the people to build their homeland by self-reliance and hardwork and then, to fight the battle against poverty with strong determination, concerted efforts and unwavering faith.

”There is a well-known Chinese lyric “without the CPC, there would be no China”. This fully demonstrates the Chinese people’s deep feelings for the CPC”, Cui said.

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