The Chinese military is considering to expand its cooperation with Nigeria’s military by supporting the country’s navy towards upgrading its defence mechanism and equipments to overcome the increased security threats in the Gulf of Guinea.
Chinese military attaché to Nigeria, Kang Honglin, a senior colonel, dropped the hint during the 85 years anniversary celebration of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army hosted by the embassy in Abuja. In the last decade of diplomatic relations between both countries, China has expanded its support to the Nigerian military and defence apparatus, providing training and equipments.
Notably, Japan recently called the Chinese army’s growing role in shaping the country’s foreign policy a security risk drawing attention to the sense of caution across East Asia regarding China’s obvious military expansion in the region.
Honglin said, “Personally, I will like to see the cooperation with Nigeria’s navy. Your country now faces serious security challenges in the gulf of guinea. To be frank Nigeria’s navy’s equipment is not so modernised so there is so much need to improve and upgrade the equipments. We have very good defence products which has very good cost efficiency to be suited for Nigeria’s navy mission. I believe not long we will see the results of this new cooperation.
“We have helped Nigeria set up ammunition assembly line which i think is already working in Nigeria. This cooperation largely falls in line with President Jonathan’s policy to promote indigenous capability in industry manufacturing. I believe in the near future we would find more filed of cooperation between both armies.”
According to Honglin, after the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria relations between the armies of both countries have been “going very well” as the cooperation focused on three fields which include, mutual visits of senior military between both countries in the last decade, training and support to defence institutes.
“These visits promote actively mutual understanding and mutual trust which I think is very important. Every year we offer training slots to Nigeria armed forces which covers from senior courses for officers to the junior military officer. There is major defence collaboration between both military,” the Chinese military man informed.
To Honglin, China helped train and equip the Nigerian Air Force with supersonic jet fighters, a capacity Nigeria did not have until China’s help.