Mr Cui Jianchun, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria said the Embassy is committed to strengthening Nigeria-China relations.
Jianchun spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at the award ceremony for winners of the Nigeria-China Symphony and Harmony Essay competition organised by the Embassy.
Our correspondent reports that 17 Nigerian youths who participated in the essay competition were awarded cash prizes.
Jianchun said the competition was organised to raise their consciousness on the Nigerian-China relations.
He said, ”it was also aimed at realising the importance of how to build symphony and harmony to strengthen such relations.
“In every nation and every country, we have to learn how we can build a harmonious society,to learn how the people can live in harmony; this is not only our dream but our aspiration.
“Nigeria and China have established diplomatic ties since 1971, I want to assure you that we have done a lot but we still have more to be done.”
Jianchun stated that through activities, both countries can work together to do big things to make a difference.
“Last week, I had the opportunity to visit different states, I really benefited a lot.
”I found out that we have created great symphony, airport symphony, deep water symphony and I think that is very important for Nigeria.
“The essay competition is very important to teach about how the young people can really understand the harmony and how the two countries can inspire young people to work together.
“From the citizens, family, society, culture, and most importantly from the state and governance.
“So, I think young people are not only the hope of the country, but the builders of this country,” the envoy said.
Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), commended the essay writing initiative, saying that it will strengthen the bilateral relations beyond diplomatic levels.
Runsewe said that the essay competition was not just reading and writing for the youths but a concept of understanding the bilateral relations between China and Nigeria.
“It is a great opportunity to expose our youths, develop them and give them a platform to understand better the relationship of harmony between Nigeria and China.
“For me, today is a statement of honour to say that they are looking up to our youths, not only relationship between Nigeria and China at the highest level, but this time they are looking at the youths.
“So, this harmony is a key word and a stabilising factor which has a space among all of us in terms of of co-existence, peaceful relationship, among us as a people.
“So, today, the Chinese people have been able to help, encourage our youths by opening a new channel.
”This is for them to appreciate that irrespective of the relationship between Nigeria and China, the harmony content of it is very spectacular,” he said.
On consolidating the Chinese efforts in Nigeria, Runsewe said that the council will host the International Arts and Craft Festival, where the Chinese and other Embassies will participate to showcase their cultures.
The Publisher of the Diplomat Nigeria, Mr Raphael Oni, said that there was no better way to explain the concept of creating harmony between countries and sectors than such initiative.
“I am happy because as a journalist, I took my time to dig into some of my experiences in China.
“China has so much built Nigeria in terms of the media, they have done a lot in terms of infrastructure.
“And even during COVID-19, we had lost count of how many places the Chinese government made donations. So, I put all these together in my write ups.
“With the issue of symphony, there is harmonization,” Oni said.
Our correspondent reports that Oni won the grand prize of N150,000, while two other contestants won N100,000 each as first runners up.
Five contestants won N50,000 each in the second position, with nine contestants winning N20,000 each in the third position.