The Chinese government has promised to open wider trade relationship with Nigeria, in spite of the reported trade dispute it has with the United States.

China’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, gave the promise at a lecture organised by the Chinese Embassy which held in Abuja on Friday.

He said although China and U.S. were the top two economies of the world, the trade dispute between them would not in any way deter existing relations with Nigeria.

According to him, in spite global concerns about trade talks between China and the U.S. on industrialisation and value of naira, more would be done to sustain China-Nigeria cooperation.

“We will definitely be open wider and wider because from our own experience, we firmly believe openness brings progress, while self seclusion leaves one behind.

“There have been concerns about trade talks between China and the United States and industrialisation of Nigeria and this and that is only imagined.

China’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian [CCS]

“We understand the concerns, China and Nigeria are on very good terms and we can do a lot of cooperation,” he said.

He decried the escalation of the trade dispute to have been provoked by the U.S., adding that what China has done is raise defence to protect the country’s legitimate trade rights.

He said that U.S. raised trade tariffs and further resorted to maximum pressure in international trade transactions.

He explained China and the U.S. reached trade consensus in May, 2018 on state of Washington DC, and also on value of China’s purchases in the U.S. in December, but was rejected.

He, however, assured that China would continue to carry out business with Nigeria and other countries of the world in line with mutual trade policies, to achieve economic growth.

Meanwhile, in separate interview, Mr Austin Amadi, a student, said that the commitment on the part of China would go a longer way to sustain its relationship with Nigeria.

According to him, the people that will sustain such relationship are the youths, who are future leaders.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right); Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian (middle) and Consul General of China in Lagos, Mr. Chao Xiaoliang (left) during the Chinese Ambassador courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja. [Encomium]

“If there must be sustainability to this cooperation, accord and unity, students who as tomorrow leaders must be tutored early enough, to achieve targets,” Amadi said.

Also, Mr Michael Ademola, a student, lauded the Embassy to have organised the lecture, saying a lot was learnt through knowledge sharing.

“I learnt that Nigeria and China share a lot of things in common and that China has been helping Nigeria in a lot of ways.

“We know about the currency swap between China and Nigeria, which is good coming at a time where we have budget deficit, such can enable us cater for some things.

“Also that Nigeria derives aid from China, in terms of cultural relations and scholarship between the two countries,” he said.