Stakeholders of China’s Belt and Road Initiative have called for increased security on Africa’s major One Belt One Road (OBOR) routes currently facing security challenges, such as Kenya–Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, and the Sahel
The Chinese Embassy, Abuja disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday following a Belt and Road Initiative Zoom Forum organised by the Embassy
The embassy said the forum, which had the theme, “One Belt One Road: One for All”, was presided by Mr Muhammad Sulaiman, President of the China Alumni Association of Nigeria.
It stated that one of the participants, Dr Sheriff Ghali of the University of Abuja, called for increased security of the OBOR routes and increased partnership between Nigeria and China in the BR Initiative.
“It is important that when the Belt and Road or the Silk Road initiative comes in, Nigeria should be found standing tall, prepared and waiting to take advantage of the available opportunities the initiative comes with.
“Firstly, all the major OBOR routes in Africa are facing security challenges such as Kenya-Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria and the Sahel.
“The two partners must work together to improve security situations for greater infrastructure investment on the continent.
“Second, there is the need to restrategise on the Belt and Road rebels. Who are the rebels?
“They are those who refused to join the OBOR Initiative and they are urging others to repudiate.
“They try to meddle in China’s domestic issues especially in Hong Kong and campaign against China’s way of containing extremism in Xinjiang. These are all ways to thwart the efforts of the IBR Community.
“It’s therefore imperative to deal with these issues for the realisation of shared future for mankind.”
In his opening remarks, Mr Li Xuda, Cultural Counselor, Chinese Embassy in Nigeria emphasised the Essence of Belt and Road Initiative in its Five-Pronged Approach.
Li said that the approaches are hinged on Policy Coordination, Connectivity of Infrastructure, Unimpeded Trade, Financial Integration and Closer People-to-People Ties.
He stated that he had always focused on Closer People-to-People Tie, explaining that China and Nigeria were great countries with long history and rich culture.
Li stated that the history of Nigeria and China further showed us that civilization thrived with openness and nations prospered through exchange.
“In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should ensure that when it comes to different civilizations, exchange will replace isolation, mutual learning will replace clashes and coexistence will replace a sense of superiority.
“Most importantly, the pursuit of this initiative is based on extensive consultation and its benefits will be shared by us all,” he stated.
Also speaking, Sulaiman stated that it was imperative to reflect and understand the objective of the BRI which was China’s greatest international economic ambition.
Sulaiman explained that the BRI was aimed at stimulating economic development, covering Asia to Europe and Africa responsible for about 60 per cent of the world’s population and 30 per cent of the world’s GDP.
Another participant, Mr Charles Onunaiju, Director, Centre for China Studies, said the need for nations to partner on collective ideas could never be deemed overemphasised.
Onunaiju said that growth could only be achieved if all parties take the initiative brought in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, with the strong conviction that there was no going back on such a laudable project.
According to the statement, there was a general consensus by participants, that the project provides member nations from Asia, Europe and Africa, avenues to meaningful growth, good health and economic viability as starters.
It added that project would also enable infrastructures take place on mega scales.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)