China cannot breach Nigeria or any other country’s sovereignty

Forum urges Nigeria to explore China’s Belt and Road initiative
April 5, 2018

China cannot breach Nigeria or any other country’s sovereignty

Press Statement

China cannot breach Nigeria or any other country’s sovereignty

The Centre for China Studies, (CCS) as a research Think Tank founded for the purpose of rigorous and scientific study of China, the nature and structure of its modern state and its international engagements especially with Africa and Nigeria in particular presents the following verifiable facts to clarify the issue relating to China’s concessional loans to Nigeria.

  • The foundation of the foreign relations of the modern state of the Peoples Republic of China founded in 1949 was and is still guided by the five principles of peaceful coexistence which are:
  • Mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty
  • Mutual non-aggression
  • Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
  • Equality and mutual benefit
  • Peaceful co-existence

These principles are at the core of China’s contemporary diplomacy and therefore, no state including Nigeria and others can entertain worry or concern about the loss of its sovereignty in relation to partnership with China.

Therefore, no treaty, agreement and any other instrument of cooperation with China can remotely lead to loss of sovereignty. The controversy issuing from China’s concessional loans to Nigeria in which hysteria and paranoia is been orchestrated about potential loss of Nigeria’s sovereignty or purported China’s takeover of Nigeria is absolutely false and unfounded. Any unbiased study and scientific interrogation of the People’s Republic of China and its foreign relations bears out, the fact that Beijing has strictly adhered to its foundational five principles of peaceful co-existence in her foreign relations.

In 1964, during the ten nation tour of Africa, by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, he laid out the eight principles of China’s assistance to Africa, among which was a categorical declaration that in providing aid to other countries, the Chinese government strictly respects the sovereignty of the recipient countries…, the purpose of the Chinese government is not to make the recipient countries dependent on China but to help them embark step by step on the road to self-reliance and independent economic development.”

The eight points of China’s principle on economic assistance further underlined that “China provides economic aid in the form of interest-free or  low-interest loans and extends the time limit for repayment when necessary so as to the lighten the burden of the recipient countries as far as possible.”

In the specific instance of China-Africa cooperation, Beijing’s widely circulated “China’s Africa policy, issued in 2006, among other things reiterated the China’s adherence to five principles of peaceful co-existence,  respects African countries independent choice of the road to development and supports African countries endeavours for economic development and nation-building, carries out cooperation in various forms in economic and social development, and promotes common prosperity of China and Africa.”

As an independent research Centre, we would counsel that it is much better to hold China to its declared principles and commitment than to speculate on the fictitious and non-existing “China’s debt trap”, “Colonialism” and “imperialism”.

China’s peaceful development also benefited from concessional loans, especially the historical three tranches of 330 billion Japanese Yen for 1978-1983, 470 billion yen for 1984-1989 and 500 billion yen for 1990-1995, granted by Japan, which added to the pool of fund that China used to implement its ambitious ten year development plan that featured 120 key infrastructure projects in 1978. The projects were 30 electric power stations, 6 trunk rail roads, 10 steel plants, 8 coal mines, 5 habours, 9 non-ferrous metal complexes, and then, 10 new oil and gas fields. The repayment of these loans was mostly in oil and coal. 

Because, China historically understand the strategic role of concessional loan in building the enabling infrastructures for modernization and sustainable economic development, it avails both its experience and funding support from which Nigeria and other Africa countries can drive their economic modernization.

Our research and study has led to a key outcome, that China is Nigeria and Africa’s historic opportunity to overcome the persistent bottleneck of paucity of funding, technology and capacity to drive sustainable and inclusive development trajectories.

That China is Nigeria’s and Africa foremost partner, both willing and also able to support Africa in the key challenge of reducing poverty and building sustainably growing economy.

Finally, the Communist Party of China (CPC) fulfils it solemn pledge to lift its 1.4 billion people out of poverty before 100 years anniversary of founding its party in 2021, and has done this without encroaching and inch of any other country’s territory nor has plundered an ounce of any other nation’s wealth.

Charles Onunaiju

Director, CCS

Abuja

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