Association Lauds Nigeria, China Ties:

AFTER about 30 years of strong and unbroken diplomatic ties, Nigeria and China will from February 10 this year, roll out drums to mark the event.

Specifically, the two countries have admitted strict adherence to the terms of the relationship which border on equality and mutual benefit.

The chairman of the Nigeria-China Friendship Association (NICAF), Ambassador V.N. Chibundu in a statement at the weekend commended the countries for the sustenance of ties initiated in February 10, 1971.

Chibundu said that the 30 years of interaction between the two countries had recorded mutually beneficial results.

He stated that both sides kept faithfully to the principles of equality and mutual benefit.

Chibundu, a former Nigerian Ambassador to China, said that both sides share the ideals of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful co-existence, non-aggression and non-interference in each others internal affairs.

Continuing, Chibundu said: "In this context, we recall that the inspiration engendered by the victory achieved in the Chinese liberation struggles in 1949, the attendant inevitable adjustments and accommodation on her admission into the United Nations Organisation (UNO) system, and due recognition of the role Nigeria would play in the international fora, informed the need for both parties to establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level.

"It is also on record that in the brief ceremony marking this epoch-making event, the minister of Foreign Affairs emphasised, inter alia, that "the Federal Government of Nigeria recognised the government of the Peoples Republic of China as the sole and legal government representing the entire Chinese people," whilst the Chinese representative pledged that "China will always support African countries, and Nigeria in particular," since then both governments have kept their command.

"It is in this spirit, therefore, that the Nigeria ρρ China Friendship Association looks forward to many more decades of mutually rewarding diplomatic relationship between the governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Peoples Republic of China on the one hand, and the two friendship associations on the other," he added.

(Guardian News Monday,February 5, 2001).