By H.E. CUI Jianchun, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria

From December 27 to 28, 2023, the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs was held in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the conference and delivered an important address.

In his important address, President Xi Jinping presented a systematic review of the historic achievements and valuable experience of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, gave a profound exposition on the international environment and historical mission of China’s external work on the new journey, and made comprehensive plans for China’s external work for the present and coming periods.

It was pointed out at the conference that the building of a community with a shared future for mankind reflects the Chinese Communists’ worldview, perception of order, and values, accords with the common aspiration of people in all countries, and points the direction for the progress of world civilizations. It is also the noble goal pursued by China in conducting major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for the new era.

Building a community with a shared future for mankind is the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. It reflects close integration of both abiding goals of Chinese Communists and the trend of times, expands common ground and convergence among all nations for building a better world. It is of great theoretical value and profound historical significance, and has increasingly demonstrated strong influence, vitality and appeal. Building a community with a shared future for humankind underscores the general trend of history and the direction of the people’s hearts.

In building a community with a shared future for mankind, the goal is to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity, the pathway is promoting global governance that features extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit, the guiding principle is to apply the common values of humanity, the basic underpinning lies in building a new type of international relations, the strategic guidance comes from the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, and the platform for action is high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. On this basis, China seeks to bring countries together to meet challenges and achieve prosperity for all, and usher in a bright future of peace, security, prosperity and progress for our world.

In March, 2013, President Xi Jinping has put forward the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. It offers China’s solutions to meet global common challenges and jointly deliver a brighter future for the world, which has received the extensive support of African countries, including Nigeria.

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind put forth by President Xi Jinping. Over the past decade, building a community with a shared future for mankind has developed from a conceptual proposition to a scientific system, from a Chinese initiative to an international consensus, and from a promising vision to substantive actions. It has been included in resolutions of the U.N. General Assembly for seven consecutive years. Extending to various regions and covering various areas, it has served as a glorious banner leading the progress of the times.

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China, the world’s largest developing country, and Nigeria, the African largest economy, have long formed a community with a shared future.

Big strides have been made in building a China-Nigeria community with a shared future during the past 10 years. Nigeria has become China’s biggest contractor market, third largest trading partner and major investment destination in Africa. Practical cooperation across the board has been immensely successful. Major projects including Lekki Deep Sea Port, Zungeru Hydroelectric project, Lagos-Ibadan train route, Abuja-Kaduna rail line, Abuja-Keffi-Lafia-Makurdi road, as well as several airport terminals, undertaken by Chinese enterprises, have been completed or progressing smoothly. Remarkable achievements have been made in the development of free trade areas. China and Nigeria took further measures to facilitate travels between the two countries, and people-to-people exchanges have been increasingly closer. With the joint efforts of both sides, China and Nigeria have developed into important strategic partners, while China-Nigeria relations have been taken to a new stage of jointly building a high-quality community with a shared future.

Nigeria is an important member of the China-Africa community with a shared future. Last August, Vice President Sen. Kashim Shettima attended the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue co-hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, and agreed to jointly build a High-Level Africa-China community with a shared future. In October, 2023, Vice President Shettima attended the third Belt and Road Forum(BRF) for International Cooperation representing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his counterpart, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng. The leaders of both sides reached important consensus on further deepening Belt and Road cooperation and lifting Nigeria-China relations to a new level.

I am willing to say that flame runs high when everyone adds wood to the fire and that mutual support can get us far. Building the China-Nigeria community with a shared future needs the joint strong efforts by our both sides. Since I came to Abuja as the 14th Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, I have thought deeply on how to promote all-round cooperation between China and Nigeria, and have put forward 5GIST China-Nigeria GDP(Growth, Development, Progress) Strategy, “Share Chinese Harmony, Perform Nigeria-China Symphony” Initiative and a new model of cooperation named PEG(Party-Enterprise-Government).

China is always committed to providing support to African countries, for their socioeconomic development. In November, 2022, President Xi Jinping announced the launch of nine programs for China-Africa cooperation.

In August, 2023, President Xi proposed that China will launch the Initiative on Supporting Africa’s Industrialization, the Plan for China Supporting Africa’s Agricultural Modernization and the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development. As President Tinubu proposed “Renewed Hope” nitiative, I am responding to build the “Renewed Tie: Thought/ Investment/ Endeavor” etween our two governments, enterprises and peoples, to sow “Renewed Seed: Security/ Education/ Economy/ Dedication”, and to fulfill the “Renewed GDP: Growth/ Development/ Progress”, o as to further promote our cooperation. President Tinubu put forward the 8-Point Agenda. China is ready to work with Nigeria to develop greater synergy in our two countries’ development strategies, o as to deliver win-win outcomes and achieve development for both sides.

In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we will soon usher in the Dragon Year of 2024. The dragon is a symbol of auspiciousness, wisdom and strength in traditional Chinese culture. This year, China will host the meeting of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), where China and Africa may come together again and draw up new plans for development. China will continue to follow the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and pursuing the greater good and shared interests when developing relations with African countries. China will always be Nigeria’s partner of mutual respect, equality and sincere cooperation, and will continue to work with Nigerian friends to build an even closer China-Nigeria community with a shared future in the new era.