China seems to be perfectly accommodating to the intervention of Russian forces in Kazakhstan, after the request of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, faced since January 2 with a massive popular protest movement. On Monday January 10, during a telephone interview with his Kazakh counterpart, President Xi Jinping gave him unambiguous support: “You took decisive and strong actions at the critical moment, quickly calming the situation, which showed your responsibility and your commitment as a statesman and your highly responsible attitude towards the country and its citizens. “, the Chinese number one said, according to the official report.
Xi Jinping endorsed the thesis of the Kazakh and Russian leaders that the demonstrators who attacked power in early January were fomenting a “Color revolution”, implied were manipulated by the West. For Xi Jinping, China “Strongly opposes all forces that undermine the stability of Kazakhstan”. As the Russian soldiers have a mission to restore order and ” stability “, that they intervene at the request of the power in place and that their presence in the country is in principle only temporary, China does not seem to see any problem with their presence in Kazakhstan.
To criticize the latter would also be to alienate Moscow and Nursoultan (ex-Astana), but also the other countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (OTSC, which includes, in addition to Russia and Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), the official framework for this international military intervention. On Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and told him that China supports the intervention of the CSTO. “Against violent terrorist forces”, according to the Chinese daily Global Times.
Need of the Kazakh diet
For Beijing, Kazakhstan is an important link in its international investment program. It is also in the capital of this Central Asian country that Xi Jinping first mentioned his “silk roads” project. Beijing also needs the support, at least implicitly, of the Kazakh regime for its repressive policy towards the Muslims (Uighurs) of Xinjiang. Many of them are, in fact, of Kazakh origin and have family in this country of 18 million inhabitants.
Kazakhstan has, in recent years, always tried to make the most of its proximity to its two big neighbors. If China plays an important role in its economic development and Russia a major role in its military security, the former Soviet republic also buys weapons in Beijing and takes care not to be too dependent on the “silk roads” . As long as Russia and China have good relations, which is undoubtedly the case at the moment, each of the three countries has a stake in it.
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China supports the thesis of a “color revolution” in Kazakhstan