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Beijing pledges support for Kazakhstan in ending unrest

By XU WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-11 07:16
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A pedestrian walks past a burnt-out fire engine in central Almaty, Kazakhstan on Jan 7, 2022 after unprecedented unrest in the Central Asian nation due to a hike in energy prices. [Photo/Agencies]

China has reaffirmed its support for Kazakhstan in bringing an end to its unrest, saying that the nation is willing to step up bilateral cooperation between law enforcement and security departments and will launch joint efforts to safeguard security.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the pledge during a phone conversation with Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi on Monday, a day of national mourning in the Central Asian nation.

The phone conversation came days after President Xi Jinping, in a message to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, gave China's support to the Kazakh government as it deals with this difficult period.

Kazakhstan has been left reeling following the unrest earlier this month, which killed 164 people, including three children, according to its health ministry.

Wang said China would welcome Tokayev's attendance at the opening ceremony of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics and will ensure the safety of the Kazakh delegation.

He said the conversation was conducted to show that China, as the permanent comprehensive strategic partner of Kazakhstan, is willing to extend steadfast support to the Central Asian nation in safeguarding its stability and ending civil unrest at a key moment for its future and destiny.

Local residents stand shoulder to shoulder with police officers in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Jan 8, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Xi's message to Tokayev fully embodied the high level of the bilateral permanent comprehensive strategic partnership and again highlighted the profound friendship between the two sides in trying times, Wang said.

China is willing to do its best to offer Kazakhstan necessary support and aid, he added.

The Chinese government and people stand firmly in solidarity with the Kazakh government and people, and China believes that the nation, under the leadership of Tokayev, will totally restore peace and stability, get through this "darkest hour", and become even more resilient and stronger, he said.

Wang noted that the unrest in Kazakhstan highlighted the stark challenges facing Central Asia and again demonstrated that certain external forces do not wish to see peace and stability in the region.

China, as a neighboring nation, harbors stronger hopes than anyone else that the region can maintain its long-term stability and attain growth and rejuvenation, he said.

Wang said Beijing is ready to bolster bilateral cooperation in opposing interference, preventing and opposing any "color revolution "plot and jointly thwarting interference and infiltration by any outside forces.

He stressed the importance of ensuring the security and smooth operations of major bilateral cooperation projects, saying that he believes Kazakhstan will take concrete measures to guarantee the safety of Chinese institutions and workers.

Tileuberdi briefed Wang on the latest situation in Kazakhstan, saying that the nation had faced a carefully orchestrated terrorist attack.

He assured China that the situation is under effective control and peace is being restored, saying that Kazakhstan will adequately ensure the safety of foreign institutions and citizens and the security of foreign investment, and will continue to abide by its international obligations.

He fully concurred with Beijing's proposal to scale up bilateral cooperation, saying that his nation is willing to enhance security cooperation with China and jointly combat terrorist, separatist and extremist forces.

The upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics will be a global event with international influence and key symbolic significance, and it will promote world peace, cooperation and enhance mutual understanding between the peoples of various nations, he added.

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