China-Nigeria Relations

By | January 28, 2024

China-Nigeria relations refers to the bilateral relations between China and Nigeria in history and now between the People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The People’s Republic of China is the largest among many economies in Asia, and Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa ; according to a 2014 BBC survey, 85% of Nigerians have positive feelings towards China, while only 10% have negative feelings towards China.


After Nigeria declared independence on October 1, 1960, Zhou Enlai and Chen Yi of the People’s Republic of China made phone calls to senior members of the Nigerian government to express their congratulations; however, post-independence Nigeria has experienced frequent coups and civil wars. The political situation was unstable, so the People’s Republic of China did not immediately establish diplomatic relations with Nigeria.

Since then, the Republic of China has wooed Nigeria and sent personnel to visit the area, but Nigeria has not established diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. The situation in Nigeria later stabilized; therefore, the government of the People’s Republic of China entrusted its ambassador to the United Arab Republic, Chai Zemin, to meet with the Nigerian ambassador to the United Arab Republic to discuss the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria. In February 1971, the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations with Nigeria.

In the 20th century, some Chinese had an impact on Nigeria’s politics and economy : Hong Kong immigrant Zhu Nanyang was Nigeria’s first Chinese chief, and the companies he ran played an important role in Nigeria’s industry ; another Hong Konger, Shen Wenbo, operated in Nigeria The enamel factory made the enamel industry one of the local basic industries.

In 2005, the People’s Republic of China and Nigeria reached a consensus and decided to upgrade their relationship to a “strategic partnership.”

In 2018, Nigeria began to purchase Xiaolong fighter jets as its next-generation main aircraft.

From January 4 to 9, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi was invited to visit five countries: Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles. On January 4, Wang Yi stopped in Cyprus on his way to an official visit to Africa and met with Cypriot Foreign Minister Christodouridis as requested. On January 5, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was on an official visit to Nigeria, held talks with Nigerian Foreign Minister Onyeama in Abuja. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Aviation, and the Minister of State for Health attended the meeting ; after the meeting, both parties met with reporters and reached seven important consensuses, including anti-epidemic cooperation, government collaboration, One Belt and One Road, construction of key projects, Diversified development, military security, regional multilateralism, etc.. On the same day, he met with Nigerian President Buhari. On February 10, 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Nigerian President Buhari exchanged congratulatory messages to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

On December 7, 2021, Cui Jianchun, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, met with Malami, Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation of Nigeria. The two sides discussed issues regarding judicial cooperation between the two countries.

Economic and trade relations

In 2012, according to paulsourcing, China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan ) exported a total of US$ 9.03 billion to Nigeria, including machinery and equipment, metal products, etc. ; Nigeria exported US$1.42 billion to China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) in the same year, and the goods were mainly It is a mineral product such as crude oil and petroleum gas. Trade between China and Nigeria faces problems such as counterfeiting, fraud, and commercial disputes, and Nigeria’s exports to China are also lacking in diversification.

Chinese companies such as Huawei and Shanghai Bell contract different projects in Nigeria, and their business scope includes communications, construction projects, etc. ; ​​two Chinese companies have set up free trade zones in Ogun and Lagos states in Nigeria respectively. Enterprises in the zone can enjoy the benefits provided by the Nigerian government, and the approval and customs clearance procedures are also more convenient.

Due to their outstanding contributions to local construction, some Chinese workers and engineers were awarded the title of chief in Nigeria. Kong Tao, who was awarded the title of chief, told reporters that the title of chief was because the company’s projects have brought development to Nigerians. It is a kind of gratitude from the Turkish emperor to China. For Kong Tao, it is more like an honor and a symbol of China. A recognition gained in Africa.

Cultural relations

Nigeria’s Nnamdi Azikwe University and the University of Lagos both have Confucius Institutes ; there is also a Chinese Cultural Center in the local area, which provides Chinese language teaching and also organizes cultural activities such as lectures and exhibitions, creating the ” Cultural Salon ”. Nigeria has broadcast some Beijing TV series, including the Hausa version of ” Beijing Love Story “; Nanjing ‘s cultural department has also reached a cooperation agreement with Nigeria to hold the ” Nigerian Culture Week” in Nanjing. Yu Zhangbao, a professor at the School of Public Affairs of Xiamen University, was awarded the title of “EZI OYI 1 UNIZIK” by the 20th chief of the Igbo people of Anambra State and a group of chiefs when he was the Chinese director of the Confucius Institute at Nnamdi Azikwe University..

China-Nigeria Relations