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China to deepen ties with Nigeria on sports, says Envoy

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China to deepen ties with Nigeria on sports, says Envoy

Cui Jianchun, China‘s ambassador to Nigeria, stressed the need for his country and Nigeria to take advantage of sports activities to deepen diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Cui spoke while briefing journalists in Abuja on Saturday on the sidelines of the fourth edition of the Nigeria-China ping-pong tournament, organized for the Cultural Center of Journalists in Abuja.

Cui said: “Nigeria leads soccer in Africa and we have a long distance to catch up with Nigerian soccer, and we are thinking of bringing the Nigerian soccer team to China, we can do things together.

“I am working on this agenda, because it is necessary for the two countries to try to use sport as a way to deepen relations between them.

“I also have many plans for the next year after COVID-19; I think many journalists will like to go to China, because seeing is believing.

“China has really achieved a lot now. We have many challenges, but I think if you go to China you will see China and I think that is beneficial for Nigerians.

“We can use table tennis to build friendship between the two nations. It is very important and I think it is special for young people to make friends, share ideas and exchange thoughts ”.

He revealed that the Chinese embassy plans to create opportunities for journalists to go to China and encourage Chinese to come to Nigeria so that citizens of both countries learn from each other.

Furthermore, Cui said, although the tournament could not be held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China is taking measures to support Nigeria, to ensure normality is restored, and said that “the Chinese central government has decided donate the Chinese vaccine to Nigeria.

“First, a batch of 500,000 doses will be delivered to Nigeria before the end of this year and the government could provide millions of doses, so we await your government’s response.

“We have 40 countries that use Chinese vaccines, donated by China, so from the Nigerian side, I have not received any response from your government.

“I hope this year we can provide one million doses to Nigeria and this is very important,” he added.

Also speaking, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche, President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Chapter, thanked the Chinese Embassy and promised to work closely with the mission to sustain the feat.

According to Ogbeche, the support derived from the mission and its Cultural Center has gone a long way in promoting the well-being of Union members and staying in physical shape.

In a separate interview, the overall winner of the tournament in the men’s singles category, Tiennabeso Bibiye, a member of the AIT staff, expressed his appreciation to the Daar Communications management for their support.

According to him, the management provided the conducive environment for his staff to properly prepare for the tournament.

“I came into this competition with a certain level of confidence, because I’m a regular table tennis player, that’s what I do, it’s a passion for me, it’s something I do to keep fit.

“But, I never knew that I was going to meet a stiff opponent in today’s game.

Similarly, the overall winner of the women’s singles category, Hannah Onoja, also a member of the AIT staff, attributed her success to proper preparations.

“I really trained hard for this game, knowing full well what to expect, I trained in the sun and rain just for this particular tournament.

“So, I am not surprised by my performance, I have been playing since the last three weeks,” said Onoja.

Meanwhile, Adetokumbo Adesanya of the Nigerian News Agency emerged in second place, and Denis Ade of NTA and Ibrahim Shuibu of FRCN are in third place.

Additionally, Correspondence’s Chioma Anajor emerged second in the women’s category, while Xhang Lixue from the China Cultural Center and NTA’s Shittu Isiti came in third.

The event, hosted by China in Nigeria and NUJ, attracted 64 male players, 16 female players and 8 pairs of doubles players to the tournament.

The ambassador promised to donate a standard table tennis table to the NUJ.

Source: NAN

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