China faces a Kazakh challenge
The Sunday Guardian|January 23, 2022
The Kazakh crisis demonstrates an uneasiness in the relationship of convenience between China and Russia.
B.R. DEEPAK

In an explosion of popular discontent, triggered by the hike of price in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) against the government in a number of cities in Kazakhstan starting from 3 January, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a career diplomat handpicked by former President Nursultan Nazarbayev was forced to declare a nationwide state of emergency on 5th, invoke security provisions of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and invite Russian forces on the 7th for his political survival as the mobs went berserk and damaged many government buildings. With the presence of Russian troops, the order was restored by 7 January, but after the loss of 164 lives and several thousand injured and imprisoned. In a CSTO virtual summit on 10 January, Tokayev claimed that it was a coup d'état from within by the "terrorists and thugs” backed by hostile foreign forces. China as a major economic player in Kazakhstan, watched the development nervously and sent a “verbal message" on 7th that supported security crackdown and denounced intervention by foreign forces for provoking unrest and instigating "colour revolutions" in Kazakhstan. Why is China concerned about developments in Kazakhstan?

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