Former Vice President Abubakar Atiku has called on African Leaders to find ways to engage with China and take advantage of opportunities provided by that country's rise Atiku made the call yesterday, during the public presentation of a book by Mr. Charles Onunaiju, on "China-Africa Relations: Opportunities, Challenges", at the Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotels, where he stated that Africans should not expend their energies debating whether China's rise and presence in Africa is good or bad for the continent.
"It is not a secret that in a little over 30 years, China has risen to become an industrial and economic powerhouse. That alone has shaken the very foundations of the world economy. China has become the "workshop of the world", a term that was once used to describe England in an era that is now a distant memory. It has also become a major creditor to the world.
"In addition, China, in response to the demands of its new position, has extended its economic reach to far-flung corners of the world in search of critical raw materials for its industries and markets for its goods. And as we know, economic power, when channeled properly, can bring political influence. China, it seems, is going to whole nine miles.
"As is to be expected, China's immense rise in so short a time has led to some disquiet in some influential quarters, even in Africa. Some say that China is seeking global dominance; others say that it is seeking to dominate and intimidate its Asian neighbours.