Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy Yang Jiechi and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met, pledging to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, extended greetings to Buhari on behalf of Xi.

He said with the support and guidance from the presidents of the two countries, China and Nigeria have enhanced political trust and made rapid progress in their relationship.

He said China and Nigeria are both the largest developing economies with the biggest population in their respective continents as well as major developing countries with important influence and bright future for development.

The two countries should further increase high-level exchanges, strengthen bilateral cooperation in international and regional affairs, the Chinese special envoy said.

The practical cooperation in various fields between China and Nigeria has achieved positive progress and benefited the two peoples, said Yang, adding that the Chinese side encourages more Chinese companies to invest in Nigeria.

China and Nigeria should continue to work hand in hand to develop the Belt & Road Initiative, implement the outcomes of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and continue to enrich the China-Nigeria strategic partnership, he said.

For his part, Buhari asked Yang to convey his cordial greetings to Xi, and thanked China, which he said was an important partner of Nigeria, for its long-term strong support for the African country’s economic and social development. Nigeria welcomed more Chinese investment, he said.

The Nigerian side highly appreciates the Belt & Road Initiative, and stands ready to work with China to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit so as to elevate the Nigeria-China strategic partnership to a new level, Buhari added.

Yang also met with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama on Thursday