Chinese Naval Visit to Nigeria Aimed At Improving Security In Waters

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The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun has revealed that China’s naval fleet to Lagos is aimed at improving security in waters plagued by piracy and oil theft off West Africa and East Africa.

Mediaage NG earlier reported that three Chinese military ships arrived in Nigeria last Sunday on a rare four-day visit.

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“Peace is not free, peace should be defended. So I think that we need military security collaboration, so Africa-China, Nigeria-China can do things to not only safeguard the peace but, to protect the vessels in the Gulf of Aden and also here in the Gulf of Guinea,” Cui Jianchun said.

The Nigerian Navy has expressed willingness to work with China concerning maritime security threats.

Nigeria is a major oil supplier to China and just six months ago, a Chinese-built deep sea port costing $1bn (£787m) was opened in Lagos.

“The Nigerian navy can benefit from the Chinese partners. First they can exchange technology and also experiences,” the ambassador said, adding that they could also build trust between the two sides, Cui Jianchun stated while speaking with the BBC.

He also said he believes the two countries could collaborate more when it came to infrastructure, technology and other areas.

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When China opened its first overseas naval base in Djibouti in 2017, it was speculated that it may also want to set up a military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast, an ambitious move US defence officials expressed concerns about.

“We are working not to only serve Chinese nation… we are also working to do something for human progress and also harmony of the world”, Cui Jianchun said, playing down such fears.

From Nigeria, the Chinese naval fleet aims to Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo before heading home.

But, prior to arriving Nigeria, they had made four-day visits to Ghana and Ivory Coast.

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