Kazakhstan’s Ambassador To China Gives Deep Insight About His Country

Kazakhstan’s Ambassador To China Gives Deep Insight About His Country

By Andrew Korybko

Kazakhstani Ambassador to China Gabit Koishibayev gave an exclusive interview to the South China Morning Post on Sunday where he updated the world about his country. It deserves to be read in full by all interested observers, but the present piece will focus on its highlights prior to analysing the significance of the insight that he shared. The purpose in doing so is to clarify the situation in this formerly Hybrid War-victimized country and debunk related fake news narratives about it.

Ambassador Koishibayev confirmed that everything has since stabilized in his country, which is why the CSTO withdrew on 19 January. He also reaffirmed that foreign actors were involved in the unrest but importantly clarified that not everyone who participated in those events were terrorists. Rather, many of them were peaceful and well-intended citizens who were upset at social inequality. The envoy noted that over half of Kazakhstanis only make less than $115 every month, which is a cause for concern.

President Tokayev declared in response to the recent unrest that he’ll prioritize addressing the population’s socio-economic problems. Ambassador Koishibayev then thanked China for its support and solidarity with Kazakhstan. He praised bilateral relations with the People’s Republic and proposed further cooperation on customs, finance, and logistics. Energy cooperation between the two is important, he said, but so too is transport infrastructure for facilitating transregional trade.

China shouldn’t be worried about the safety of its investments in Kazakhstan, Ambassador Koishibayev said, since his country is committed to ensuring their security. He also praised people-to-people ties, especially in the educational domain, as playing a pivotal role in sustainably improving relations between their countries. In response to a question about anti-Chinese sentiment in Kazakhstan, Ambassador Koishibayev denied that the Chinese take local jobs and said they only send skilled workers.

He predicted that such sentiments will disappear as his people complete more vocational training in order to learn the skills needed for participating in such projects instead of Kazakhstan having to resort to foreign labour to those ends. Ambassador Koishibayev also said that the government is working on rectifying the income gap between local and foreign workers. It was at that point that the interview came to its final question, and one that’s of interest for Russia and China.

Ambassador Koishibayev was asked about the grand strategic intentions of the newly named Organization of Turkic States (OTS) that some have speculated could eventually destabilize those two Great Powers. The Kazakhstani envoy vehemently denied that anything of the sort is possible, clarifying that this group in which his country participates focuses solely on mutually beneficial cooperation. Having directly been involved in some of its negotiations and activities, he speaks from experience.

In his words, “we are mainly engaged in cultural and linguistic contacts as well as in strengthening economic cooperation. There are no talks on military-political issues under the framework of the organisation.” Ambassador Koishibayev also predicted that Turkey won’t dominate the OTS since Central Asian states such as his own and neighbouring Uzbekistan “also maintain significant influence.” Additionally, he denied the existence of any contemporary pan-Turkish unification or separatist goals.

His interview was immensely insightful because most observers suddenly neglected Kazakhstan after the undeclared USprovoked missile crisis in Europe intensified shortly after that country’s crisis died down. It’s therefore crucial for folks to follow up on everything that they previously learned about that Hybrid War and whatever they thought might have been behind it. Ambassador Koishibayev’s claim that foreign parties were involved and his defence of the OTS should be deemed as credible.

After all, he’s among Kazakhstan’s most important diplomats by virtue of the neighbouring Great Power in which he serves. It is absolutely delusional to suspect that he might be “covering up” Turkey’s role in events or trying to “psyche out” his audience by defending the OTS if Ankara really did indeed play some sort of clandestine role in destabilizing his country less than a month ago. Objective observers who sincerely aspire to understand what recently happened should therefore dismiss that conspiracy theory.

It also goes without saying that those who suspected that the Russian-led CSTO limited peacekeeping operation would somehow or another influence Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, including in ways that complicate its relations with China, were similarly wrong. No such consequences occurred nor will they because it was always a weaponized fake news narrative from the get-go. Russia intervened at Kazakhstan’s request to protect strategic facilities and that was it. Moscow had no ulterior motives.

Altogether, Ambassador Koishibayev’s interview enlightened interested observers about what’s been going on in Kazakhstan over the past few weeks since most of the world forgot about his country’s crisis and focused almost entirely on the ongoing European one. Hopefully those who were misled by false narratives around the height of the Hybrid War of Terror on Kazakhstan will realize that they were manipulated and will thus seriously consider changing their views if they’re truly honest observers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.

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Categories: Geopolitics, International Affairs

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