Nigeria and Sino Bilateral Economic Relation: From Isolationism to Constructive Engagement – A Historical Discourse

Paul U. Omeje, Nanyen M. Abene


Since the first Afro-Asian Conference of 1955 in Bandung, China has pursued vigorously her ambition of becoming a world power. Basically, Sino –Africa relation seems to have dated several centuries back. Indeed, China understood from the earliest periods the importance of Africa nay Nigeria as a centre for competing with the other two great powers of the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The departure  of colonial powers after independence created a vacuum in each of the African states and in particular Nigeria; and there was a struggle between the two superpowers to fill it. Then too, this escalated the Chinese (Sino) impulse and desire to establish her presence in Nigeria, spreading communist ideology and experimenting the concept of proletarian revolution. Although formal economic contact between Nigeria and China dates back to the early years of the former’s independence in 1960,the development of economic relations between the two countries have not been encouraging until recently. This is sequel to the legacy of British colonialism and her economic imperialism policy. However, in spite of these impediments toward cordial economic bilateral rapport, China’s relations with Nigeria have been most conspicuous, particularly in the past few years. The  paper concludes that , despite  the policy of economic

isolationism that pervaded and characterized the early years  of Nigeria –China economic relations, the status quo  was later superseded with cordial constructive economic engagement that prevails to this day.

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