China, Nigeria pledge to boost ties

20:47, August 31, 2010      

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Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Henry Ajumogobia in Beijing, Aug. 31, 2010. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Odien Ajumogobia in Beijing Tuesday, with the two sides pledging to boost bilateral ties.

China and Nigeria have a long history of friendly relations, Li told Ajumogobia, who is paying his second visit to China since 2008.

China and the western African country established formal diplomatic relations in 1971. "Particularly since the two countries forged a strategic partnership in 2005, the two countries have deepened political trust, worked closely in various fields, and supported each other in international affairs," Li said.

As developing countries, China and Nigeria are committed to economic and social development, and "the two countries should expand mutually-beneficial cooperation and boost bilateral ties," Li said.

Ajumogobia echoed Li's sentiment, saying his country hopes to consolidate and further develop the friendly ties and his visit here aims to ensure the sound growth of bilateral ties.

On broader China-Africa ties, Li said relations with Africa constitute an important part of China's diplomatic initiatives.

"China will make joint efforts with Nigeria and other African countries to take the China-Africa strategic partnership to a new high," Li said.

Later Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held hour-long talks with Ajumogobia during which they discussed regional and international issues of common concern.

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