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President XiJinping’s visit to Kazakhstan charts new blueprint for China-Kazakhstan relations

COVID-19, farmers
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This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Kazakhstan. Over the past 30 years, China-Kazakhstan relations have progressed by leaps and bounds and reached the high level of permanent comprehensive strategic partnership, setting a good example of good-neighborly friendship and win-win cooperation.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Kazakhstan will deepen the two countries’ political mutual trust, expand their comprehensive cooperation and usher in nextgolden 30 years of Kazakhstan-China relations.

China and Kazakhstan have always maintained reliable political relations. They offer each other firm support on issues concerning their respective core interests.

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China firmly supports Kazakhstan in safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Kazakhstan has openly and repeatedly expressed its firm support for the one-China principle.

When the unrest took place in Kazakhstan in January this year, President Xi immediately sent a verbal message to his Kazakh counterpart,Kassym-JomartTokayev, stressing that China firmly opposes any forces undermining Kazakhstan’s stability and threatening Kazakhstan’s security.

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In recent years, the two countries have witnessed an increase inintergovernmental exchanges at all levels. The strategic guidance of the two heads of state has charted a blueprint for all-round China-Kazakhstan cooperation.

China-Kazakhstan practical cooperation has maintained healthy development. New fruits are constantly being achieved in the two countries’ Belt and Road cooperation and other pragmatic cooperation.

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Bilateral trade between China and Kazakhstan surged 18.9 percent year on year to $17.67 billionin the first seven months of this year, and the full-year figure is expected to reach a historic high.

The two countries have identified 52 projects of production capacity cooperation in mining, energy, industry, commerce and transport, with a total worth of more than $21.2 billion.

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The two countries have continuously enhanced interconnectivity. In the first half of this year, a record of 6,195 China-Europe freight trains passed through Kazakhstan.

Chinese home appliances, mobile phones and automobiles are popular in Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan’s green agricultural products are welcomed by Chinese consumers. The two countries are seeing increasing economic complementarity and dependence.

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In the future, China and Kazakhstan will further strengthen communication and coordination in terms of development strategies to add more substance to bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

China-Kazakhstan friendship has taken deep roots betweenthe two peoples.

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Facing COVID-19, the two countries and their people offered mutual understanding and support, setting a good example of anti-pandemic cooperation. Kazakhstan is home to five Confucius Institutes that offer Chinese language courses to over 3,000 people each year.

The two countries are also seeing closer cooperation in education, films and television, publishing, entertainment and the media, and will soon establish cultural centers in each other’s countries.

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China and Kazakhstan have established 19 pairs of sister provinces and cities. This July, they resumed direct flights betweeneach other and Chinese nationals can enter Kazakhstan for up to 14 days based on a new visa-free policy. The two countries have decided to set up consulates general in China’s Xi’an and Aktobe in Kazakhstan respectively.

As the two peoples continue enhancing mutual understanding and deepening their friendship, China and Kazakhstan will jointly write a new chapter in the century-old Silk Road.

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China and Kazakhstan have constantly enhanced coordination under multilateral frameworks. Both of them are important countries in Eurasia and members of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. They are committed to safeguarding the international system with UN at its core, and have kept close cooperation in multilateral organizations to jointly promote regional and global peace and stability.

President Tokayev actively supports the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi. The two countries have the same or similar stances on regional hotspot issues.

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China is willing to enhance solidarity and coordination with Kazakhstan to build a closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future.

By setting sail together, we could brave a journey of ten thousand miles. It is believed that SCO member states, including China and Kazakhstan, will take the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State as an opportunity to further strengthen dialogues, build consensus and promote cooperation, and constantly make new contributions to consolidating regional security and promoting common development.

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(ZhangXiao is the Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan.)

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Elderly Woman Falls On Her Knees To Pray For Peter Obi In Jos Rally

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As political campaigns for the 2023 general elections commenced on Wednesday, a elderly woman has been captured praying for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, during a solidarity rally held in Jos, Plateau State.

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The Director-General of the Obi-Datti Campaign organization, Doyin Okupe, in a tweet on Wednesday disclosed that the LP candidate and his vice, Datti Baba Ahmed, will attend the Jos rally although the party is yet to commence campaigns officially.

”Today in Jos, HE Peter Obi & his running mate Datti-Ahmed, will honour an invitation from the Middle Belt forum to attend a solidarity rally. We are yet to commence our own campaigns.

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To comfort our students, We urge the FG to quickly resolve the lingering ASSU Crisis,” the tweet read.

Amongst persons seen at the venue to welcome the LP flag bearer was an elderly woman on her knees in the midst of other supporters praying for Peter Obi at the Rwang Pam Stadium Jos, Plateau state.

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UNIBEN releases post-UTME, DE screenings date

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The University of Benin has fixed dates for its Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry screenings for 2022/2023 session.

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The university in a notice by its Registrar, Ademola Bobola on Wednesday in Benin, said the exercise would hold between Nov. 14 and 25.

Bobola said the screening would be conducted in designated centres at the Ugbowo main campus of the institution, using the Computer Based Test mode.

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“Only candidates who applied through JAMB for the 2022/2023 UTME and Direct Entry admission and chose the University of Benin as First Choice and scoring 200 and above for UTME candidates are eligible for this screening exercise,” the registrar said.

Bobola, however, referred admission seekers to the institution to the university’s official website.

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Presidency denies authorising Katsina security outfit to carry arms

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The Presidency has denied that any state has been issued authorisation to procure automatic weapons for its security outfit.

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Last week, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu had accused the Federal Government of bias in refusing to allow the Western Nigeria Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun Corps, to carry sophisticated firearms, while allegedly granting approval to the Katsina State security outfit to carry sophisticated firearms.

That was as the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba said that quasi-security outfits established by state governments have no legal basis to function during the 2023 general elections.

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In a statement on Tuesday, the Presidency said the possession of automatic weapons and AK-47 remains illegal in the country.

“The Presidency wishes to strongly assert that there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits,” the statement reads.

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“Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them”.

The Presidency however said neither Katsina nor Ondo is allowed to purchase automatic weapons for security outfits.

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“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.

“In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their vigilantes for a five-day period….

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“in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,” emphasising that “the vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them”.

The Presidency added that it “appreciates the active involvement of states with security matters. As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities”.

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President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted as saying he has received reports “of acts of utmost bravery and professionalism” by operatives of state security outfits.

“He thanked them for their alertness that is helping to defeat nefarious plots against targets at grassroots levels”, the statement added.

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Furthermore, the Presidency called on leaders at various levels “to exercise restraint in their speech, even as we are in a political season”.

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