Abuja – Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Gu Xiaojie, on Tuesday said Nigerians constituted largest population of Africans resident in China.
Xiaojie made this known while interacting with newsmen in Abuja and said that bilateral relations between Nigeria and China had been growing in ‘’leaps and bounds’’.
He said that the Chinese Embassy was doing everything possible to ease movement of Nigerians to China.
“Nigeria has the biggest population out of African countries who are now residing or who are now doing business in China on more or less permanent basis especially in Southern China – Guangzhou, Guangdong.
“We have the biggest population of Nigerians living in China. Of course, you have the biggest population and the biggest economy in Africa.
“So really, there are lots we can do to improve this relationship to match the aspiration of Nigerians that are going to China to do business, to study, to visit,” he said.
The envoy explained that the Chinese Government was happy with the level of relationship between it and Nigeria, describing it as ‘’positive’’.
He noted that China was the country with the largest population in the world and Nigeria, the largest population in Africa.
“So, given the enormity of this population, it is only natural that we have people going both ways.
“As the representative of my government in Nigeria, we are doing our best to strengthen this kind of people-to-people exchange.
“So, the embassy has been working with the government and foreign ministry in this country, trying to promote it,” he said.
Xiaojie disclosed that the trade volume between both countries hit 18 billion dollars (about N3.5 trillion) in 2014, representing 30 per cent increase over the figure of the preceding year.
“Also the cultural exchanges between the two countries have been growing. In 2013, China set up China-Nigeria Cultural Centre based in Abuja.
“Nigeria is one of the very few countries – three or four countries – where China has set up Chinese Cultural Centre.
“Nigeria is the only African country to also set up a Cultural Centre in Beijing, capital city of China in 2013. Nigeria is the only African country which has done that.
“That shows that the two countries, both take each other very seriously and attach great importance to the cultural aspect of the relationship exchanges,” he said.
He added that China had a lot of investment interests in Nigeria and expressed the hope that the bilateral relations between both countries would continue to witness boom. (NAN)