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Beijing to defend  world security based  on Putin-Xi consensus

Beijing to defend world security based on Putin-Xi consensus

Beijing will resolutely defend global security based on a mutual understanding reached by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

“We continue our efforts on the basis of the consensus reached by the leaders of China and Russia, <...> and we will actively contribute to the permanent maintenance of overall regional and global security,” he told a news briefing, responding to a question from TASS about the prospects of Russian-Chinese cooperation along with other CSTO countries.

According to the Chinese diplomat, some countries seeking to establish their hegemony in the world “attempt to establish new military organizations which lead to the escalation of tension in the region.”

“Beijing and Moscow are strongly against such actions,” Wang Wenbin pointed out. On December 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a virtual summit. As Russian Presidential Aide for International Affairs Yury Ushakov told journalists, the conversation lasted close to an hour and a half. According to him, the leaders focused on all top priority issues ranging from security guarantees for Moscow in Europe to the creation of new alliances in the Asia-Pacific region.

During the virtual summit, the Chinese leader said that Beijing intends to continue flexible and multifaceted cooperation with Moscow and other CSTO countries to maintain security and stability in the region.

On Thursday, CSTO Press Secretary Vladimir Zainetdinov told TASS that the establishment of dialogue and cooperation with China in order to safeguard security and stability in the region is on the agenda.

He added that the contacts should be based on the universally acknowledged principles of international law, in line with the objectives and principles of the UN Charter and the CSTO Charter. South Africa sees fewer hospitalisations as Omicron cases surge Johannesburg, Friday COVID-19 infection rates are soaring across South Africa as a result of the highly mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but fewer people have died or required hospital treatment compared with previous waves of the disease, according to health officials.

South Africa on Wednesday recorded its highest number of cases since the spread of the pandemic, driven by the rapid spread of Omicron.

However, Dr Michelle Groome, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), said on Friday that hospitalisations have not increased “at such a dramatic rate”.

“We are starting to see some increases, but relatively small increases in deaths,” she told a news conference.

Dr Wassila Jassat, also from the NICD, said the number of people requiring oxygen was “lower than what it was in comparison to any of the previous wave periods.” “Patients do seem to stay for a shorter duration,” she said. Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the data does not mean that Omicron is less virulent, but rather that vaccines are preventing serious illness.

“It’s probably due to significant vaccine coverage,” particularly among older people, he said. About 31 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, but the number rises to 66 percent for people over the age of 60.

Older people are most at risk of developing serious symptoms. Scientists remain uncertain how dangerous Omicron is, but early data suggests it can be more resistant to vaccines and is more transmissible than the Delta variant. In the United States, the world’s hardest-hit country, the average number of daily COVID-19 cases has risen by 30 percent in recent weeks.

On December 1, the daily count was 86,000. but on December 14, it had shot up to 117,000. Omicron was first identified in November by South African scientists.

The discovery of the new variant triggered alarm that it could cause another surge in global infections, and led many countries to impose travel restrictions on the southern Africa region.

South Africa led a chorus of condemnation against the “unjustified” and “counterproductive” travel bans, as scientists also expressed concerns the curbs would deter other countries from reporting the finding of new variants out of fear of facing similar restrictions.

Health ministers from the G7 of advanced economies on Thursday called for international cooperation in the face of Omicron, which they called the “biggest current threat to global public.

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Author: Beijing, China

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