President Xi congratulates Tokayev on election as Kazakhstan president

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday congratulated Kazakhstan’s president-elect Kassym-Jomart Tokayev following his victory in Sunday’s vote.

Xi in his message reiterated the mutual friendship that China and Kazakhstan enjoy, one he hailed as being sincere and trustworthy.

The Chinese president also noted that he attached great importance to further development of China-Kazakhstan ties, adding that he is willing to establish a close contact with Tokayev in carrying forward bilateral relations with steady progress.

Tokayev won the Kazakhstan presidential election with over 70 percent.

The 66-year-old has ruled the central Asian country in an acting capacity since late March when he took over from former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned after nearly 30 years in power.

He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs until January 2007, when he was elected as a Chairman of the Senate.

Tokayev becomes only the second Kazakh president since the country became the last Soviet republic to declare independence from the USSR in 1991.