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China donates medical equipment to support Nigeria’s fight against COVID -19

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Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhuo Pingjian, on Friday donated medical equipment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in support of the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Pingjian, while delivering the medical items at the ministry in Abuja, said the outbreak of COVID-19 has posed threats to people’s health and security of lives globally.

According to him, it has become important for the international community to strengthen confidence, act in unity and work together in collective response against the disease spread.

Pingjian said: “At the most difficult moment in our fight against the outbreak, China received a strong political support and assistance in various means from Nigeria.

“Such expression of friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people, as a Chinese saying goes: ‘Give a plum in return for a peach.

China firmly supports Nigeria’s fight against the COVID-19 and stands ready to assist if needed, to the best of its capacity.

China will try its best to provide medical supplies to Nigeria and do whatever it could to support the country, as well as continue to share information and experience with Nigeria.

China will strengthen cooperation on containment, treatment and vaccines in response to COVID-19 challenge with a view to building community of shared health for mankind.”

He reiterated that just like Nigeria supported China by all means, the country would try its best to support Nigeria too to overcome difficulties in its fight against COVID-19.

Receiving the items, Mr Lot Egopija, Director of Policy, Planning, Research and Statistics (PPRS) in the ministry, said that as of Friday March 27, 65 cases had recorded in Nigeria.

Egopija said the government was leaving no stone unturned to stem the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“These items will be used by the ministry to further ensure COVID-19 does not spread.

“I assure you that the leadership of the ministry and everyone concerned will use the items judiciously.

“We want to thank you for your continuous support to our country and we will always remain grateful for your laudable initiative,” Egopija said.

In a separate interview, Mr Nura Rini, Director of Regions in the ministry, said that Coronavirus might have started from China, but it had spread to every part of the world.

He said that there was the need for collective struggle to be able to contain the global spread of the disease.

According to Rini, there is need for concerted efforts for every country to make sure the spread of the disease was contained.

“The support given to Nigeria by China is a demonstration of excellent relationship that exists between both countries and this gesture can only deepen the relationship.

“Nigeria on its part, assisted many countries in their time of need and will continue to do so; I urge Nigerians to support efforts by Federal and State Governments to contain COVID-19.

“We have to listen to instructions given to us by medical experts and various state governments to be able to contain the spread,” Rini said.

He described the fight against COVID-19 as serious business, because the disease had no respect for race, colour or gender.

Nigeria News Agency reports the medical equipment include, thermometer, hand washing sanitizers and face masks.

Others are hand gloves, anti-bacteria wash, anti-septic wipes/soaps and automatic hand dryer.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maureen Atuonwu
(NAN)

 

Fortune Abang: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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China to continue to stand firmly with African brothers, sisters, says envoy on Africa Day

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A Chinese envoy said Monday that China will continue to stand firmly with African brothers and sisters.

China will continue to stand firmly with African brothers and sisters. I believe that with the joint efforts of China and Africa, we will eventually triumph over this pandemic (of COVID-19),” Zhang Jun, China‘s permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organization of African Unity, now the African Union (AU), on May 25, 1963.

On the day, Zhang sent letters to the permanent observer of the AU to the United Nations, permanent representative of South Africa (chair of the AU) to the United Nations, and permanent representatives of other African countries to the United Nations.

“Since 1963, under the guidance of the Organization of African Unity and the African Union, African countries have made historic achievements in seeking strength through unity, gaining independence and freedom from colonial imperialists and exploring paths of development in light of their own national conditions. Africa has made significant contributions to the world peace and development,” he said.

China is truly proud of the progress made by Africa and deeply grateful for the valuable support provided by African friends,” said the envoy.

Zhang said that the spread of COVID-19 poses an unprecedented challenge to all countries in the world. China appreciates the sympathy, solicitude and support from African countries.

China is also doing its utmost to assist Africa in tiding over the pandemic. China has sent medical expert teams to Africa’s five sub-regions and their neighboring countries, provided large quantities of medical supplies, and organized video conferences with African medical workers to share experience,” he noted.

China and Africa have shared weal and woe. China is willing to enhance coordination and cooperation with Africa under the UN and other multilateral frameworks to jointly safeguard the common interests of developing countries, pursue common development, and build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future,” said the ambassador.

(XINHUA)

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China won’t relax ecological, environmental protection: minister

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China will not relax its ecological and environmental protection in the next five years, Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu said Monday.

“In the 14th five-year plan period, we will continue to improve ecological and environmental quality by reducing pollutant emissions, and vigorously promote ecological protection and restoration,” he said on the sidelines of the annual session of the national legislature.

China should further adjust the industrial structure, advance the transformation toward low-carbon development, promote green lifestyle, and provide the public with more eco-friendly products, he said.

Ecological and environmental protection goals set for the 13th five-year plan period (2016-2020) are being accomplished in a smooth manner, Huang said, adding that seven of nine binding targets set for evaluating the protection work have been achieved, such as the emission control of major pollutants.

By the end of 2019, the average concentration of PM2.5, a major particle matter pollutant, in cities that previously did not meet air quality standards dropped 23.1 percent from the level of 2015, he said.

(XINHUA)

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Uzbekistan eyes Europe-China air freight market

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Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirzioyev has instructed the government to enter the Europe-China air cargo market to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the president’s press service said Monday.

The president tasked the ministry of transport to develop a business model for Uzbekistan Airways and Uzbekistan Airports, as well as the development of rail and road transportation, according to the press service.

Mirziyoyev also discussed with government officials about the issues of transferring the management of Uzbekistan Airways to a foreign company, attracting new air carriers and modernizing airports in the country, according to the press service.

Uzbekistan’s transport companies have suffered a loss of over 33 million U.S. dollars due to the pandemic, and the figure is likely to increase, the press service said, adding that Uzbekistan Airways and Uzbekistan Airports were already given loan extension and tax benefits worth of millions of dollars.

(XINHUA)

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China-Thailand railway agreement likely be signed in October: Thai transport minister

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The “Contract 2.3” for the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway between Thailand and China is likely to be signed in October, said Thai Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob on Monday.

Saksayam made the announcement after attending a virtual meeting of the 28th Thai-Chinese Joint Committee with Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of China‘s National Development and Reform Commission.

The minister said the Thai and Chinese team had agreed that the contract, estimated at 50.6 billion baht (1.58 billion U.S. dollars), involves the cost of purchasing track, electricity systems and machinery, as well as procurement of train carriages and training.

Under the contract, 80 percent of the payment will be made in the U.S. currency and the remaining 20 percent in Thai baht.

There is a total of 14 contracts involved in the 253-km rail route from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast as a part of the Sino-Thai high-speed train project, linking Bangkok to Nong Khai, bordering Laos.

Saksayam said depending on the COVID-19 pandemic situation, there is a possibility that the signing might take place earlier than October.

The minister said that Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside over the signing ceremony at the Government House, and according to the plan, the first 253-km leg of the railway will commence service in year 2023.

(XINHUA)

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Experts laud China’s commitment to building community with shared future

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Experts have praised China‘s commitment to building a community with a shared future for mankind and its efforts to promote international cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday answered questions by journalists from home and abroad on China‘s foreign policy and foreign relations at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual national legislative session.

China has been firmly safeguarding multilateralism and striving to improve global governance, and has made important contributions to world peace and stability, experts said.

Tanaka Chitsa, a researcher at the Southern African Research and Documentation Center in Zimbabwe, said that China has made important contributions to safeguarding multilateralism, world equity and justice, and promoting global economic and social development.

The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China enables countries with different ideological and cultural backgrounds to join forces and cooperate on the basis of seeking common ground while reserving differences to achieve a win-win situation, said Chitsa.

Medical supplies donated by China are unloaded from a plane at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, on May 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)

Medical supplies donated by China are unloaded from a plane at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, on May 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)

China, he added, has taken the initiative to make its stance known on various international occasions, actively safeguarded the interests of the vast number of developing countries, and won the trust and friendship of developing countries over the years.

Constanza Jorquera, a scholar at the School of Politics at Diego Portales University in Chile, said that China is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind and improving global governance, which is of significant importance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Francisco Carrion, Ecuador’s former foreign minister, said that while COVID-19 continued to spread, China has provided medical supplies to many countries, shared its anti-COVID-19 experiences and provided great help to global efforts in fighting against the virus, which demonstrates its responsibility as a major country.

Staff transfer medical materials donated by the Ecuador Branch of China Road and Bridge Corporation to support Ecuador’s fight against COVID-19 in Quito, Ecuador, April 16, 2020. (Photo by Santiago Armas/Xinhua)

Staff transfer medical materials donated by the Ecuador Branch of China Road and Bridge Corporation to support Ecuador’s fight against COVID-19 in Quito, Ecuador, April 16, 2020. (Photo by Santiago Armas/Xinhua)

At present, all countries should eliminate differences and prejudices, enhance cooperation and jointly combat the pandemic, Carrion said.

Any action of stigmatizing, shirking responsibilities or even provoking racism and xenophobia will negatively impact the global fight against COVID-19 and ultimately hurt human society, he added.

Gerd Kaminski, a scholar and the director of the Austrian Institute for China and Southeast Asia Studies, said that in today’s world, there is no room for isolationism and egoism, and countries must work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

It is commendable that China has been committed to promoting international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, he added.

Photo taken on May 13, 2020 shows medical supplies donated by Chinese government at the handover ceremony in Yangon, Myanmar. (Xinhua/U Aung)

Photo taken on May 13, 2020 shows medical supplies donated by Chinese government at the handover ceremony in Yangon, Myanmar. (Xinhua/U Aung)

U Khin Maung Lynn, joint secretary of the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies, said that COVID-19 has once again highlighted the importance of multilateralism.

All countries should unite to fight the pandemic, he said, noting that China has cooperated with other countries to mobilize material, technical and human resources, and has made important contributions to the global fight against COVID-19.

Apart from public health, unity and cooperation are also needed in other fields, and only in this way can a peaceful and stable international environment be created, he added.

(XINHUA)

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China constantly improving Chinese socialist legal system

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China has been constantly improving the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, said a top legislature report.

The work report of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) was submitted to the third session of the 13th NPC for deliberation on Monday. Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered the report.

With a focus on comprehensively advancing the rule of law, the top legislature placed equal emphasis on making new laws, revising existing ones, abolishing those that are unnecessary, and interpreting laws that need clarification, according to the report.

While stressing both quality and efficiency, the top legislature strengthened legislative work in important fields, and made constant efforts to legislate in a more well-conceived, democratic, and law-based manner, the report said.

Since last year, the top legislature has deliberated 48 drafts of laws and decisions, and adopted 34 of them, including five new laws, 17 revisions of existing laws as well as 12 decisions on legal issues and major issues.

It heard and deliberated 39 work reports, inspected the enforcement of six laws, conducted three special inquiries and seven research projects, and passed one resolution. It also approved five bilateral treaties.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: UNECA plans to deepen partnership with China on Africa’s development

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on Saturday expressed its keen interest to deepen partnership with China with particular emphasis on building Africa’s socio-economic condition back to normal in the postCOVID-19 pandemic period.

The remark was made by Antonio Pedro, Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Sub-regional Office for Central Africa, as he emphasized the need to strengthen global partnership and collaboration in building back Africa after COVID-19 pandemic.

“The day after COVID-19 should not be the same as before COVID-19,” Pedro said in exclusively with Xinhua on Saturday, as he recalled a similar recent remark by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the need to build climate-friendly economies in the postCOVID-19 pandemic era.

“We are looking for a world that’s greener with green economies and green jobs where impacts of climate change will be addressed, where our energy intensity will be reduced, and where we will have what we call the deep de-carbonization,” the ECA director said.

Members of a Chinese medical team pose for a group photo after donating medical supplies to Mvurwi Hospital in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe, May 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)

Members of a Chinese medical team pose for a group photo after donating medical supplies to Mvurwi Hospital in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe, May 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)

“Here, China is leading in many of these areas such as in electric cars, which will reduce carbon emissions,” Pedro told Xinhua on Saturday, as he emphasized that “all of these efforts are part of the package on building back better in terms of energy transitions as well as electrification of the transport systems.”

“We are looking for collaboration and partnership with China on that area as well. We will facilitate Africa’s participation in global value chains that we add value to our product so that we can generate more employment; because one of the unfortunate faces of COVID-19 is that the race of unemployment in Africa is already increasing,” said Pedro.

“It’s important that in building back better, we create more jobs on the continent and this, among other things, requires industrialization,” he said, adding that “we are looking forward to more of this collaboration and we appreciate the efforts that has been done so far.”

Commending the Chinese engagement and support to African governments and Pan-African institutions, such as the African Union, in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECA director also called on countries across the globe to emulate China‘s positive engagement in strengthening the global solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting the need to strengthen the global solidarity in order to effectively contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in building back better after the coronavirus pandemic, Pedro also singled out China as a major player in propelling the much-needed global partnership and collaboration towards combating the virus.

“We see the Chinese engagement and the support that it is providing to African governments and to the African Union in terms of access to medical supplies, masks and other things as part of the global solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pedro told Xinhua on Saturday.

Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Wang Shiting (C) donates food items to Ghana’s local communities in Accra, capital of Ghana, on April 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Xu Zheng)

Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Wang Shiting (C) donates food items to Ghana’s local communities in Accra, capital of Ghana, on April 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Xu Zheng)

According to Pedro, among the areas in which the UNEAC presently collaborating with China is the facilitation of access to business opportunities for Africa companies in China and beyond, which includes the ongoing partnership with the Chinese Alibaba Group’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative that envisaged the promotion of African products in the global market.

The ECA regional director’s remarks in deepening partnership with China on building Africa’s socio-economic condition back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic came as the UNECA recently disclosed that a one-month full lockdown across Africa would cost the continent about 2.5 percent of its annual GDP, equivalent to about 65.7 billion U.S. dollars per month.

Earlier this month, a UNECA report entitled “COVID-19: Lockdown Exit Strategies for Africa,” which indicated that at least 42 African countries applied partial or full lockdowns in their quest to curtail the pandemic, mainly proposed to African nations various COVID-19 exit strategies following the imposition of lockdowns that helped suppress the virus but with devastating economic consequences.

The report, among other things, proposed seven exit strategies that provide sustainable, albeit reduced, economic activity. The report also sets out some of the exit strategies being proposed and tried around the world and outlines the risks involved for African countries.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) disclosed that the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases across Africa surpassed 103,933 as of Saturday morning as the death toll surpassed 3,183. Some 41,473 people had also recovered from the infectious virus so far.

(XINHUA)

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China tells U.S. to stop wasting time in coronavirus battle

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The U.S. should stop wasting time in its fight against the coronavirus and work with China to combat it, rather than spreading lies and attacking the country, the Chinese Government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Sunday.

The Sino-U.S. ties have nosedived since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, with the administrations of President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping repeatedly trading barbs over issues related to the pandemic, especially the U.S. accusations of cover-ups and lack of transparency.

The two top economies have also clashed over Hong Kong, human rights, trade and the U.S. support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

State Councillor Wang, speaking at his annual news conference on the sidelines of China’s parliament, expressed his deep sympathies to the U.S. for the pandemic, where the death toll is expected to surpass 100,000 in the coming days, the highest number of any country.

“Regretfully, in addition to the raging coronavirus, a political virus is also spreading in the U.S.

“This political virus is using every opportunity to attack and smear China,’’ said Wang, who is also China’s Foreign Minister.

“Some politicians have ignored the most basic facts and concocted too many lies about China and plotted too many conspiracies.’’

“I want to say here: Don’t waste precious time any longer, and don’t ignore lives,’’ Wang said.

“What China and the U.S. need to do the most is to first learn from each other and share their experience in fighting against the epidemic and help each country fight it.’’

China and the U.S. also need to start coordinating macro policies for their respective economies and the world economy, he added.

China remains prepared to work with the U.S. in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, Wang said, when asked if Sino-U.S. relations would further worsen.

China has always advocated that as the world’s largest developing country and the largest developed country, both of us bear a major responsibility for world peace and development,’’ he said.

China and the U.S. stand to gain from cooperation, and lose from confrontation.’’

Last month, Missouri became the first U.S. state to sue the Chinese government over its handling of the coronavirus, saying China’s response to the outbreak that originated in the city of Wuhan brought devastating economic losses to the state.

Wang said such lawsuits lacked any legal basis.

“The China of today is not the China of a century ago, and nor is it the world,’’ he added.

“If you want to infringe upon China’s sovereignty and dignity with indiscriminate litigation, and extort the fruits of the hard work of the Chinese people, I am afraid this is a daydream and you’ll only humiliate yourself.’’

Wang also offered his strong support for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, frequent targets of the U.S. criticism.

“To support the WHO is to support saving lives.

“This is the choice any country with a conscience should make,’’ he said.

Trump, who has accused the agency of being “China centric”, has threatened to permanently halt funding to the WHO and to reconsider his country’s membership of the agency.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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China’s FM highlights five priorities of diplomatic service in 2020

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China‘s diplomatic service will adapt to the COVID-19 response on regular bases, focus on five priorities and create new highlights this year, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday.

Wang made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual national legislative session.

(XINHUA)

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Interview: British professor confident about China’s attainment of poverty eradication goal

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A British expert has expressed confidence that China will achieve the goal of poverty eradication on time.

Kerry Brown, a professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College, London, told Xinhua via email recently that it will be a tough period for China and everywhere, but the postCOVID-19 period is also full of opportunities.

Despite the economic impact exerted by COVID-19, at this year’s annual two sessions, China again stressed confidence in achieving its goal of eradicating poverty this year.

Although every country, including China, suffered a huge economic impact from COVID-19, Brown stressed that there is still a chance to face it by trying to innovate and do things in a different way in terms of balance, sustainability and environmentally friendliness.

“There are opportunities in terms of collaboration as well as achieving a new set of reforms because of the urgency of the crisis that faces us,” said Brown.

New industries and sectors may emerge to replace some of the lost employment in other more traditional areas, he added.

Talking about China‘s poverty alleviation story, he still remembered the time when he travelled around the rural areas of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the mid 1990s. “In places like Sizi Wangqi, I remember power cuts were common, and people were living a sort of farming life that hadn’t changed probably for centuries,” he recalled.

However, these days, that area has highways and new buildings, so different that it almost seems another place. “Even (the autonomous region’s capital city) Hohhot is almost unrecognizable from the place I knew so well a quarter of a century ago,” he added.

He attributed the success of China‘s poverty alleviation largely to the agricultural reforms in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the productivity in the agricultural sector was improved radically, freeing up people to work in Town and Village Enterprises.

This hybrid form, he said, is a combination of innovation and control proven successful till today. The question is what sorts of innovations in the future will maintain this momentum.

“Now the achievement of China‘s poverty alleviation is vast, and it’s something that the outside world needs to give China credit for,” said Brown.

It has been the key contributor to the global improvement in literacy levels, fall in malnutrition and poverty levels, improvement in access to clean water, and in generally improving basic human wellbeing, he added.

Brown said this is one of the main reasons why, despite so much pessimism in the world currently, people are living longer, more healthily, and with more prosperity. “China‘s lifting so many people from poverty accounts for much of this,” he said.

In Brown’s eyes, any plan that does not include a fifth of humanity is not going to be serious, but the poverty eradication is one of them.

“The era in which China and the outside world need to create a sustainable and stable template to accept each others differences but work equitably, with reciprocity and fairness with each other is now on us,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Feature: Turkey’s dairy exports to China boon for producers, economy

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Turkish producers hail China‘s decision to give the green-light for imports of Turkey’s milk and dairy products as it will be a vital income for producers who have seriously felt the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was announced on Thursday by Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan.

“The obstacles in exports of milk and dairy products have been lifted,” she said in a series of tweets.

The minister said that 54 Turkish companies have been cleared to start exports to China, which is one of the world‘s largest dairy importers.

According to a separate statement by the trade ministry, Turkish dairy companies exported products worth of 364 million U.S. dollars around the world in 2019.

The ministry said that Turkey will continue its efforts to ensure market diversity and increase the market share of its agricultural products, especially dairy products, such as butter, milk and milk powder, in China.

Setbir, Turkey’s milk, meat and food industrialists and manufacturers association, welcomed the start of exports to China as “very important for our producers who are suffering from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“This is a very important development for our industry and we have to make the most of it by exporting quality products to China which is a major market,” Setbir president Tarik Tezel said in an interview to A Para broadcaster.

Tezel indicated that the Turkish dairy sector had been impacted by the plummeting exports over the coronavirus pandemic.

“Exports of milk and dairy products dropped considerably during the last months, putting pressure on producers,” he remarked.

“Our target should be to remain a sustainable supplier of the Chinese market so that our industry would benefit as a whole,” the industrialist said.

Tezel added that exports would begin in late June.

“This is a great opportunity as there’s a big potential in China which is the main player of the world‘s milk market,” said Muhittin Ozder, president of the Turkish Milk Council (USK), an organization established to promote Turkish dairy products.

Chinese embassy in Ankara also praised the decision in a statement, noting that it would “open a new page in bilateral agricultural products’ cooperation.”

With the daily confirmed cases and death toll now falling, Turkey is easing lockdown restrictions in order to kickstart the vulnerable economy. In these volatile times, the news of the start of exporting milk and dairy products to a huge market such as China comes as a lifeline for producers.

“I am happy and we were depressed because of the current (virus) situation … but now, we have something to be hopeful about although things will not be fully normal for a time,” Suleyman Kocak, milk producer from capital Ankara’s Kazan suburb told Xinhua by phone.

Kocak, head of a family firm, is one of the 54 dairy suppliers to China.

“This decision will have a favorable effect on our region’s farming and livestock industry which is undergoing difficulties for some time. We are thankful to the authorities of both countries for this move,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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China-Laos railway’s tracks go through 1st tunnel

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As each row of 14 cement sleepers laid smoothly across the Ban Nong Khay Tunnel at the prescribed distance and then the 500-meter long tracks settled on the sleepers precisely by the engineering train, China-Laos Railway’s tracks has passed its first tunnel on Saturday.

The 661-meter-long Ban Nong Khay Tunnel is located in Vientiane Province, some 60 km to the north of Capital Vientiane, at the juncture of central and northern Laos’ plains and mountains.

Lei Chao, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) working committee at the China Railway No. 2 Engineering Group (CREC-2) railing base, which undertakes the track laying of the China-Laos railway, told reporters that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the CREC-2 has been actively planned the work and mobilized over 700 Laotians and 200 Chinese engineers and workers who cooperated closely and effectively, raising the railing speed from two km per three days at the beginning to 1.5 km daily now.

The track laying work was kicked off on March 27 in Vientiane.

The 414-km railway, with 198-km tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.

The electrified passenger and cargo railway is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards.

The project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed and open to traffic in December 2021.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: UNECA to deepen ties with China in post COVID-19 pandemic period

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on Saturday expressed its keen interest to deepen partnership with China with particular emphasis on building Africa’s socio-economic condition back to normal in the postCOVID-19 pandemic period.

The remark was made by Antonio Pedro, Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Sub-regional Office for Central Africa, as he emphasized the need to strengthen global partnership and collaboration in building back Africa after COVID-19 pandemic.

“The day after COVID-19 should not be the same as before COVID-19,” Pedro said in exclusively with Xinhua on Saturday, as he recalled a similar recent remark by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the need to build climate-friendly economies in the postCOVID-19 pandemic era.

“We are looking for a world that’s greener with green economies and green jobs where impacts of climate change will be addressed, where our energy intensity will be reduced, and where we will have what we call the deep de-carbonization,” the ECA director said.

“Here, China is leading in many of these areas such as in electric cars, which will reduce carbon emissions,” Pedro told Xinhua on Saturday, as he emphasized that “all of these efforts are part of the package on building back better in terms of energy transitions as well as electrification of the transport systems.”

“We are looking for collaboration and partnership with China on that area as well. We will facilitate Africa’s participation in global value chains that we add value to our product so that we can generate more employment; because one of the unfortunate faces of COVID-19 is that the race of unemployment in Africa is already increasing,” said Pedro.

“It’s important that in building back better, we create more jobs on the continent and this, among other things, requires industrialization,” he said, adding that “we are looking forward to more of this collaboration and we appreciate the efforts that has been done so far.”

Commending the Chinese engagement and support to African governments and Pan-African institutions, such as the African Union, in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECA director also called on countries across the globe to emulate China‘s positive engagement in strengthening the global solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting the need to strengthen the global solidarity in order to effectively contend the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in building back better after the coronavirus pandemic, Pedro also singled out China as a major player in propelling the much-needed global partnership and collaboration towards combating the virus.

“We see the Chinese engagement and the support that it is providing to African governments and to the African Union in terms of access to medical supplies, masks and other things as part of the global solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pedro told Xinhua on Saturday.

According to Pedro, among the areas in which the UNEAC presently collaborating with China is the facilitation of access to business opportunities for Africa companies in China and beyond, which includes the ongoing partnership with the Chinese Alibaba Group’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative that envisaged the promotion of African products in the global market.

The ECA regional director’s remarks in deepening partnership with China on building Africa’s socio-economic condition back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic also came as the UNECA recently disclosed that a one-month full lockdown across Africa would cost the continent about 2.5 percent of its annual GDP, equivalent to about 65.7 billion U.S. dollars per month.

Earlier this month, a UNECA report entitled “COVID-19: Lockdown Exit Strategies for Africa,” which indicated that at least 42 African countries applied partial or full lockdowns in their quest to curtail the pandemic, mainly proposed to African nations various COVID-19 exit strategies following the imposition of lockdowns that helped suppress the virus but with devastating economic consequences.

The report, among other things, proposed seven exit strategies that provide sustainable, albeit reduced, economic activity. The report also sets out some of the exit strategies being proposed and tried around the world and outlines the risks involved for African countries.

On Saturday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) disclosed that the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases across Africa surpassed 103,933 as of Saturday morning as the death toll surpassed 3,183. Some 41,473 people have also recovered from the infectious virus so far.

(XINHUA)

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China to send medical experts to Republic of Congo on COVID-19

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The Chinese government has decided to send a medical expert team to the Republic of the Congo to support the country in its response to COVID-19, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said here Saturday.

Zhao Lijian said the expert team was organized by the National Health Commission and consisted of experts selected by the Hebei Provincial Health Commission.

(XINHUA)

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China Focus: China aims for complete victory in poverty elimination

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Early in the morning, Migmur enters a workshop, sits down at a table and strikes the burin with a small hammer. With the “tink tonk tink tonk” sound reverberating, the image of auspicious clouds appears on a brown leather waist belt.

One of Migmur’s legs was paralyzed in an accident when he worked at a construction site over a decade ago. The 38-year-old ethnic Ewenki herder in north China‘s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is unable to raise livestock or toil in the field.

He participated in a training workshop on leather carving in a cultural industrial park funded by the local government. Last year, Migmur crafted 152 ethnic leather products, which brought him 23,200 yuan (around 3,267 U.S. dollars) and helped him cast off poverty.

“With traditional handicrafts, I can raise my family and have got rid of the mire of poverty,” Migmur said.

The cultural industrial park provided traditional ethnic handicraft training for around 300 impoverished households last year, bringing them jobs as well as fortune.

The poverty-stricken population had been reduced to just 16,000 by the end of 2019 from 1.57 million in 2013 in the autonomous region, according to official statistics.

After having accomplished historic achievements in poverty reduction over the past seven years, China is in the final push to securing a decisive and complete victory in this regard, despite the COVID-19 impact.

President Xi Jinping has underscored firm confidence and concrete action in the country’s final battle against absolute poverty.

In a recent instruction on the poverty elimination of the entire Maonan ethnic group, Xi also stressed that not a single ethnic group can be left behind in the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

At this year’s annual two sessions, legislators and political advisors are expected to pool wisdom on how to realize the goal of poverty elimination while keeping those who have been lifted out of poverty from returning to poverty.

A breeder feeds sheep in Yanchi County, northwest China‘s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, May 27, 2019. Located on the southern edge of the Maowusu Desert, Yanchi County was once poverty-stricken and suffered from desertification. But after years of efforts, the environment there has been restored, and the county has also shaken off poverty. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

A breeder feeds sheep in Yanchi County, northwest China‘s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, May 27, 2019. Located on the southern edge of the Maowusu Desert, Yanchi County was once poverty-stricken and suffered from desertification. But after years of efforts, the environment there has been restored, and the county has also shaken off poverty. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

FISHING, NOT FISH

As morning sunshine beams down onto Yangling Village, 46-year-old Ma Junlin and his wife wake up and make their way to two barns housing a total of 12 cattle. Last month, Ma sold three cattle and earned 15,000 yuan.

Through raising cattle, the per capita income for Ma’s family has increased to 10,000 yuan a year, and they live in a new brick house with a television, a refrigerator and other home appliances.

Like Ma, a native of northwest China‘s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, many of his fellow villagers had shaken off poverty through raising cattle by the end of 2018.

Over the past four years, animal husbandry has become a pillar poverty alleviation industry for Ma’s village thanks to the government’s financial and technical support.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, the country has achieved significant progress in poverty reduction, with over 93 million rural people lifted out of poverty over seven years.

There were still 5.51 million impoverished people by the end of last year.

As a fundamental means to advancing poverty alleviation, industries have been fostered according to local conditions, playing a key role in consolidating poverty reduction achievements.

In Yunzhou District, Datong City in north China‘s Shanxi Province, growing daylilies — a kind of edible flower and traditional Chinese medicine for soothing nerves — has become a local pillar industry.

Impoverished counties in Shanxi have developed the planting of apples, potatoes and daylilies into industries to guarantee farmers stable jobs and incomes.

HOUSE, JOB AND HOPE

Sitting in her spacious new home in Ludian County, southwest China‘s Yunnan Province, Zhan Wenhua said she was still terrified by the 5.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the neighboring Qiaojia County.

“I’m not sure if our old house in Qiaojia could have survived the earthquake. It’s lucky that we had been relocated to Ludian before the disaster,” the 48-year-old said.

Zhan’s family used to live in a dilapidated adobe house in Qiaojia’s Fala Village deep in the mountains. Last December, they moved to an apartment in a resettlement site in Ludian, thanks to a government-led poverty-relief relocation program.

“Life is much better now because I can look after my kids while working at home,” she said. Zhan and her husband now work as cleaners at the resettlement site, each earning about 2,000 yuan a month.

The relocation of people like Zhan from inhospitable areas is another important approach to poverty reduction.

Earlier this month, 84 registered poor households living atop a cliff were relocated to the local county seat of Zhaojue in southwest China‘s Sichuan Province, embracing a new modern life.

A total of 18,000 impoverished residents from 92 villages moved to their new homes at the newly built community. It marked the near completion of poverty alleviation programs involving the relocation of 1.36 million people in Sichuan.

Across China, more than 9.6 million poor people have been relocated to more habitable areas over the past several years, getting access to more job opportunities and better public services.

Through precise measures, the pairing-up of aid, the fostering of industries, e-commerce and tourism, relocation and the dispatching of officials to poverty-stricken villages, China has achieved miraculous results in reducing poverty and is determined to eradicate absolute poverty this year despite challenges.

(XINHUA)

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China’s development targets for 2020

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https://vodpub2.v.news.cn/publish/20200523/XxjhmeE007057_20200523_CBVFN0A001.mp4%20%20

https://vodpub2.v.news.cn/publish/20200523/XxjhmeE007057_20200523_CBVFN0A001.mp4%20%20

What does China plan to achieve in its development in 2020? Click this video to find out. #twosessions

(XINHUA)

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Feature: Lawmakers at China’s annual legislative session

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Before sharing his stories in a live broadcast interview at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Luo Jie had been fighting COVID-19 on the front line for months in one of the hardest-hit areas in China.

The 53-year-old president of the Taihe Hospital in Shiyan, central China‘s Hubei Province, is in Beijing attending the annual session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China‘s national legislature, which opened on Friday.

Luo, an NPC deputy, is among about 3,000 national lawmakers and 2,000 political advisors gathering in the capital for the “two sessions,” a major political event that also includes the annual session of the country’s top political advisory body.

Though this year’s two sessions are shortened, lawmakers and political advisors still take questions from reporters on the sideline of the meetings, mostly via video links in light of the current COVID-19 epidemic situation.

Luo was joined by deputies from all walks of life — from primary-level community workers, janitors to lawyers and ministers. Their experiences offer a glimpse into how the country’s lawmakers fulfill their duties as NPC deputies.

Drawing on his professional experience, Luo offered suggestions concerning public health emergency responses.

Through arduous efforts, China has achieved decisive results in the fight against COVID-19. The novel coronavirus is dangerous, but frontline doctors and nurses went all out to save every single life, Luo said.

More than 3,600 COVID-19 patients aged over 80 have recovered in Hubei, seven of whom were centenarians, Luo told reporters. “We value every life with our whole heart.”

He also took advantage of the live broadcast to express his gratitude to those who have helped people in Hubei.

“Tens of millions of Hubei people will never forget those medical workers coming from across the country to save lives day and night, and we are grateful for every mask, every protective suit sent from around the world,” he said.

As epidemic prevention and control becomes a regular practice, China is making its final push toward poverty elimination and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects in this year.

The third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

The third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

The national endeavor to fight poverty is also a priority concern for Shi Liping, an NPC deputy of the Miao ethnic group in southwest China‘s Guizhou Province.

A folk craftsman of the traditional Miao embroidery herself, Shi said the craft has created jobs for half a million Miao women.

Statistics show that Guizhou relocated 1.88 million people from inhospitable areas in 2019. “We have built 100 anti-poverty Miao embroidery workshops in the resettlement sites,” Shi said.

NPC deputy Zhu Guoping, a community worker in Shanghai, shared her experience of getting local residents involved to contribute to law revision.

“I made my cell phone number public to the residents and led my colleagues to make door-to-door visits to listen to their voices and help them solve problems,” Zhu said in front of the camera.

According to Zhu, her community has participated in the revision of 35 laws, including laws on domestic violence and minor protection, with 610 opinions brought forward.

On Friday, the national lawmakers started deliberating a draft civil code, which, after approval, is expected to further refine China‘s basic legal system and rules of conduct in the civil and commercial fields.

In addition to a general provision and a supplementary provision, the 1,260-article draft has six parts on property, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, and tort liabilities.

The draft was prepared after extensive suggestions were solicited from the public. Xiao Shengfang, an NPC deputy and head of the Guangdong Lawyers Association, made 170 suggestions on revision since 2014 when the decision to compile the civil code was announced.

Considered “an encyclopedia on social life,” the civil code concerns every aspect of people’s lives, Xiao said. “I am glad that some of my contributions have been accepted.”

(XINHUA)

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China’s support to global anti-pandemic fight shows true leadership: UN official

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What China has done in supporting the international community in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated “true leadership,” a high-ranking UN official said Friday.

China has done a tremendous work in containing the outbreak domestically,” Jorge Chediek, UN secretary general’s envoy on South-South Cooperation and director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), told Xinhua in an exclusive interview through email on Friday.

“Despite its own challenging situation, China has also provided support to over 150 countries and multilateral organizations through making available financial resources and dispatching technical expertise, as well as providing personal protective equipment, medical equipment and procurement and logistics assistance,” said Chediek.

The UNOSSC director also highly commended China‘s concrete measures pledged at the World Health Assembly to boost global fight against COVID-19, such as providing international aid.

A staff member transports medical supplies donated by the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in Havana, Cuba, May 6, 2020. (Photo by Joaquin Hernandez/Xinhua)

A staff member transports medical supplies donated by the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in Havana, Cuba, May 6, 2020. (Photo by Joaquin Hernandez/Xinhua)

“This is a demonstration of strong solidarity with the international community and true global leadership,” said Chediek.

Talking about the cooperation between UNOSSC and China, he said that his office has been working with the Chinese government in making available financial resources to support developing countries’ efforts in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are also working with many partners from China including the Alibaba Group … and many others, to coordinate knowledge exchanges among medical professionals on COVID-19 prevention and treatment between China and developing countries, and pledging and mobilizing donations of PPEs and medical equipment to developing country partners and institutions,” said Chediek.

(XINHUA)

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Interview: China’s domestic economic drivers are strong: U.S. scholar

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The domestic drivers for the Chinese economy are looking much better and Chinese domestic economic activity has picked up “dramatically” in the last month or so, a U.S. scholar has told Xinhua.

In a video interview on Wednesday, Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said “obviously China is several months ahead of the West, and it looks like Chinese domestic economic activity has picked up dramatically in the last month or so,” referring to China‘s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

He believed the problem for China now will be global demand. “The fact that there will be no global demand in the second half of this year will obviously slow down China‘s recovery, but so, the domestic drivers for the Chinese economy are looking much better and better every day.”

China on Thursday raised the curtain for its annual political high season. This year’s “two sessions” are expected to highlight China‘s final push in poverty alleviation and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Such progress is expected to boost its economic growth.

Deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Garrett said “2021 was going to be a very big year for China, with a bunch of goals, to be delivered on by that time.”

He explained that though “2020 is just going to be an incredibly difficult year for every economy in the world,” “we should just never lose sight of the fact that what’s happened in China since 1978 is probably the greatest economic miracle in the history of the world.”

“Lifting 700 million … people out of poverty in three or four decades is just extraordinary,” he said in reference to China‘s poverty alleviation efforts.

Talking about international cooperation in the COVID-19 pandemic, the expert said, “I would expect that China could and should be a leading player in any international responses to the pandemic.”

He believed that international collaboration has been absent so far in response to the pandemic. “And I hope we can change that. Of course they have got to be national responses too, but I think coordinated international action is really important,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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China’s success in poverty reduction shows UN’s “No Poverty” goal attainable: UN official

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China‘s success in poverty reduction has demonstrated to the global community that the first goal of “No Poverty” among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is attainable, a high-ranking United Nations official said Friday.

China gives us an affirmation that SDG 1 – No Poverty is attainable even in a country with 1.4 billion population,” Jorge Chediek, UN secretary general’s envoy on South-South Cooperation and director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), told Xinhua in an exclusive interview through email.

China has made impressive achievements in the fight against poverty, which is also a significant contribution to global poverty eradication,” he said when commenting on the Government Work Report delivered by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, the national legislature, in Beijing on Friday morning.

China provides the world, especially the Global South, an example of how economic policies and social policies have managed to take hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, Chediek said.

“The targeted poverty reduction policy implemented by the Chinese Government and focused support to areas of extreme poverty have proved to be effective in eliminating poverty, which also reflects the commitment and indicator of ‘leaving no one behind,’ as UN calls for, in its achievement of SDGs,” said the official.

The UNOSSC director noted that poverty alleviation “is a priority of China and so it is to us in the United Nations. The office has been working with China to support the eradication of poverty through effective and concrete South-South cooperation initiatives.”

Among them, the South-South Cooperation Facility for Poverty Eradication is a prominent example. The facility is supported by the Government of China and aims to provide an enabling environment for China and other development partners from the Global South to share their solutions, publicize their demands, and connect to foster south-south cooperation and Triangular cooperation opportunities on poverty eradication, he said.

“Each country has its own goals, circumstances, capacities, and development paths,” said Chediek, but adding that based on similar experiences and shared sustainable development goals, sharing good practices among the global South is extremely useful.

“We would expect to see a further expansion of south-south cooperation between China and other Southern countries on the SDG 1,” he noted.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN member states in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet now and into the future, with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at its heart.

All the member states recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth, while tackling climate change and working to preserve oceans and forests.

(XINHUA)

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