As America grapples with the fiscal cliff, China and Germany are increasing their military presence in an African nation vital to global seaborne trade.
Just last August, the Chinese military had discussions with the Nigerian government to upgrade the Nigerian Navy. During the discussions, Chinese military attaché to Nigeria, Kang Honglin, pointed to the fact that China has already helped Nigeria set up an ammunition assembly line. He then went on to talk about China’s desire to provide the Nigerian Navy with both the training and equipment necessary to secure the Gulf of Guinea.
The German military is also very involved with Nigeria, although Berlin’s focus has been more on combating terrestrial-based Islamic extremist than it has been on combating marine-based pirates. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in discussion with the Nigerian president last August wherein she offered German military training to Nigerian soldiers combating Boko Haram Islamic insurgents. Such military training would be a big step toward ensuring the safe passage of Nigerian oil supplies to both European and Oriental markets.
Foreign affairs analysts rank Nigeria as one of Africa’s three most geopolitically important nations. As Egypt’s fate determines the stability of Northern Africa and South Africa’s fate determines the stability of sub-Saharan Africa, so Nigeria’s fate determines the stability of the oil-rich nations surrounding the Gulf of Guinea. This fact is not lost on the political leaders of China or Germany—who are taking great pains to develop bilateral relations with Nigeria.
Full article: China and Germany Strengthen Cooperation With Nigeria (The Trumpet)