H.E. Xu Jianguo
China's Ambassador to Grenada
Commentary: Ambassador to Africa's biggest oil producer, Xu Jianguo has presided over a rapid expansion of commercial and diplomatic ties since his posting to Abuja in September 2006. Chinese investment in Nigeria
is worth more than US$3 billion, and bilateral trade in 2007 was
running at over $4 bn., making Nigeria China's third-largest African
trading partner, just behind Angola and Sudan.
Xu graduated from Zhejiang University in 1982. He stayed on at the
university as Secretary of its Communist Youth League for several years
before joining the Foreign Service. In 2001, he served briefly as
attaché to China's Embassy in South Africa. The next year, he was appointed Ambassador to Georgia.
In June 2004, Xu moved on to the Foreign Ministry's new Department
of External Security Affairs. The department was established to respond
to threats against Chinese enterprises and citizens abroad, as well as
to assess risks to state infrastructure in China's own troublesome
autonomous zones. Xu was Deputy Director of the department until his
assignment to Abuja in September 2006.
His security experience proved invaluable soon after his arrival in
Nigeria. In January 2007, five workers from Sichuan Telecommunication
Corporation were kidnapped in Port Harcourt. Xu coordinated a rescue
operation that freed the hostages in 13 days. In May 2008, three engineers
from the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation were
kidnapped; their release was secured three days later.
Xu earned goodwill in Abuja - for friendship if not clairvoyance -
by predicting a gold medal for the Nigerian men's football team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In the event, the Nigerians took a
He became the ambassador to Grenada in October 2010.