Abuja — The Chinese government has expressed willingness to deepen its relationship with Nigerian media towards promoting greater objectivity in projecting Chinese developmental strides both in China and Africa. China's Vice Minister of Information of State Council, Mr. Guo Weimin, made the commitment last week in Abuja at a media dialogue organised by Leadership Group, owners of Leadership newspapers.
Describing the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China as evergreen, Weimin added that cooperation between the media of both countries would be strengthened. He recalled that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in December 2015 had media relations as one of the agreements reached.
According to him, China's relationship with Africa was the cornerstone of the country's foreign policy, saying, "The purpose of my visit to Nigeria is to implement important agreements that were reached between Chinese and Nigerian Presidents on developing strategic partnership of China-Nigeria relations. It is also to work closely with Nigeria to see the level of implementation reached at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and to push forward our bilateral relations by inclusive exchanges with the government, the people and the media, especially in the area of media and social culture."
Weimin noted that the media occupies a very strategic position in defining China-Nigeria cooperation, adding that the media of both countries had roles to play in promoting people-to-people relations between both countries and serve as a positive voice for developing nations globally.
"We will continue to tap into the rich content of China-Nigeria friendship and cooperation to broadcast and spread the most touching stories to the world, to broadcast and report the cooperative results between the two countries. We will promote innovative and pragmatic cooperation and carry forward a common development of China-Nigeria media industry. Under these new circumstances, it is meaningful for China-Nigeria media industries to launch exchanges and cooperation. We will encourage as many Chinese media professionals to come to Nigeria to broadcast and we welcome more Nigerian media to visit and study in China."
In his remarks, the Chinese Deputy Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lin Jing, stated that the media cooperation should be part of the overall China-Nigeria relations. He recalled that China, at the FOCAC summit, had agreed to train 1,000 media professionals from Africa annually and that Nigeria has indeed benefited from that agreement.
"In line with the spirit of equal treatment, seeking common ground while reserving differences, openness and inclusiveness, let us bring into play the power of the media and lay a solid public opinion foundation for healthy and stable development of bilateral relations between the two countries. Chinese and Nigerian media should report objectively and rationally on each country and play a constructive role in advancing the China-Nigeria strategic partnership. When media cooperation works, society thrives."
In her contribution, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, stated that it was pertinent for the media to work together to enhance national and regional development. She added that the media has served as a watchdog in ensuring accountability and transparency among leaders.
She said: "My vision as president of the guild and as a journalist is that we do better than what we have done before. We also want to partner with the Chinese media organisations. Working with China, there is so much we can do together and we are willing to work with China to get things done. Nigerian media work very hard, but now we need to work very hard together because we can achieve more working together."