Protests in Kazakhstan
On 2 January, Kazakhstan was hit by protests in the wake of a spike in fuel prices. The riots turned violent on 4 January, leading to clashes between protesters and the police, looting, killings, and deepening insecurity. The president has declared a nationwide state of emergency.
China Ready to Provide Assistance to Kazakhstan Within Its Capabilities, Foreign Ministry Says
BEIJING (Sputnik) - China is ready to provide any assistance to Kazakhstan pursuant to the neighboring country's requests, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
"China and Kazakhstan are friendly neighbors and permanent strategic partners. China maintains close cooperation with Kazakhstan and will provide assistance in accordance with the requests of the Kazakh party and within its capabilities," the ministry said.
China adheres to a constructive approach regarding the measures facilitating pacification, economic development and improving the living standards of Kazakhstan's citizens, according to the ministry.
The foreign ministry did not clarify what kind of assistance China will provide to Kazakhstan and whether the country is ready to send its peacekeepers to its neighbor if necessary.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a verbal message of support to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. During a press-conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that China was ready to work together with the Kazakh side to implement the "heads of state's important political consensus and do their best to provide necessary support and assistance to Kazakhstan."
Mass protests in Kazakhstan began in the early days of 2022, with residents of the western cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau protesting a twofold increase in the price of liquefied gas. The protests spilled over to other cities, including the former capital and largest city of Almaty, where looting, attacks on government buildings, and armed clashes with the police broke out. In response, the Kazakh authorities launched an anti-terrorist operation. Almost 1,000 people were injured during the unrest, according to the United Nations.
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also officially requested the assistance of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in "overcoming the terrorist threat." The CSTO responded by sending peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan to normalize the situation.