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Worried China tells Kazakhstan to ‘earnestly safeguard’ Chinese institutions

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi on Monday (File image courtesy: Kazakistan Foreign Ministry)

China has told Kazakhstan that it will fully support the country's efforts to foil any attempt at instigating "colour revolution" and jointly oppose the interference and infiltration of any external force.

Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi dialled Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi on Monday, expressing Beijing's "firm support" for the Kazakh side's efforts to maintain stability and end violence at a critical moment bearing on the country's future.

The call was made after members of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) held a virtual extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council.  

Three days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping had sent a verbal message to Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to openly voice China's support.

Analysts believe that China's sudden reaction to the events in the Central Asia region could stem from Beijing becoming uncomfortable with the increasing Russian presence in the region.

Also Read: Recapture of Almaty – Kazakhstan President reveals the timeline of events that shook Central Asia

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it hopes that Kazakhstan will "earnestly safeguard" the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in the country. 

Wang Yi proposed that China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Kazakhstan in law enforcement and security sectors, and increase bilateral cooperation in anti-interference so as to maintain the security of political systems and regimes of both countries.

"The Foreign Minister said that the sudden chaos in Kazakhstan shows that Central Asia is still confronted with severe challenges, and once again reveals that certain external forces do not want peace and tranquillity in our region. As a neighbouring country, we hope more than anyone else that Central Asia will maintain long-term stability and achieve development and revitalization," said the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The Chinese Foreign Minister also called his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Monday. 

"The ministers were unanimous in assessing the events in Kazakhstan, stressed their concern about the intervention of external forces, including the participation of foreign mercenaries in attacks on civilians and law enforcement officials, the seizure of state institutions and other objects," said the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

They two also discussed the preparations for the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to China in February for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Beijing has also invited Tokayev to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games.

Also Read: Kazakhstan unrest can have direct bearing on China