The Federal Government has dismissed reports in a section of the media that China belittled Nigeria on Tuesday by sending a junior minister to receive President Goodluck Jonathan and his entourage at the airport in Beijing.
The Nigerian President, along with his wife, Dame Patience, had on arrival at the Beijing International Airport, China, been received by that country’s Vice Foreign Minister, Mr. Le Yucheng, instead of having the Chinese President or a more senior government official on hand to welcome him; a development that was not well received back home.
But yesterday, while discussing Mr. Jonathan’s five-day state trip to China at its meeting chaired by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) considered the visit as beneficial to Nigeria’s economic and investment interests.
Briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly meeting, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, maintained that President Jonathan was appropriately and warmly received by the Chinese government as required by protocol.
She added that the Nigerian government would continue to engage other countries, not just China, in its efforts towards growing the Nigerian economy and fostering good relations with global players.