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Nigeria’s Emerging Role in China-Africa Relations

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 12, 2016. Muhammadu Buhari is on a visit to China from April 11 to 15. KENZABURO FUKUHARA / POOL / AFP

One of the unexpected outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis is its rapidly escalating impact on the relationship between Nigeria and China. Several African governments have protested the treatment of African migrants in Guangzhou, but Nigeria is emerging as the epicentre of a diplomatic crisis in China-Africa relations. 

The motion tabled in the the country’s House of Representatives, aimed at investigating the immigration compliance of each Chinese company and individual in the country, is only one aspect of the reaction. As we show below, the diplomatic spat is also coinciding with crackdowns on other alleged instances of Chinese misconduct, for example illegal mining. 

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What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.