BEIJING ( Associated Press) – China has given Kazakhstan’s leader strong verbal support for deadly action to quell violent unrest, but has stood aside when Russia sent special forces troops.
Resource-rich Kazakhstan, on China’s western border, is of economic and strategic importance to Beijing and is a key in “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiatives to expand its global trade and political influence in rivalry with the US and its allies. is hard.
China’s response to the crisis underscores how it prefers to influence outcomes with verbal assurances and offers of aid without involving troops.
“The growing closeness between Russia and China means we can expect more rhetorical support for Moscow’s foreign ventures, especially when they go against Western geo-strategic objectives,” said Rana Mitter, a China expert at Oxford University. Huh.”
“However, China is extremely reluctant to deploy People’s Liberation Army troops outside its territory, except in areas such as UN peacekeeping operations, as this would contradict its continued statements that China, unlike the US, is involved in other countries’ conflicts. doesn’t interfere,” Mitter said.
What are China’s goals in Central Asia?
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, China has steadily expanded its economic and political influence in a region that Russia considers its backyard. As the largest and by far the wealthiest Central Asian state, Kazakhstan is dominant, acting as a buckle in China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, and its authoritarian politics as a counterweight to democratic movements in Ukraine and elsewhere. Serves as armor, which China ridicules as Western. Engineer “Color Revolution.”
China’s ruling Communist Party, which violently repressed its pro-democracy challenge in 1989, sees such movements, whether in Georgia or Hong Kong, as a threat to its stability. In a message to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev amid the unrest, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his country would “strongly oppose external forces that deliberately create turmoil in Kazakhstan and incite a ‘color revolution’.”
China’s position coincides with strong opposition to external criticism of its policies, whether its human rights record or its wide territorial claims in the South China Sea, as meddling in its internal affairs.
China’s influence in Central Asia still has limits, and Kazakhstan may feel uncomfortable inviting Chinese troops, given China’s harsh treatment of ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities within its borders, according to the University of China Institute. Director of the Steve Tsang said. London School of Oriental and African Studies.
“An important element of China’s foreign policy under Xi’s leadership is to make the world safe for authoritarian states and prevent the spread of color revolutions,” Tsang said.
When does China intervene?
China often vows retaliation for any criticism of its policies, especially when the perpetrators are the US and its allies. It is far more friendly with autocrats, pledging non-interference and cooperation with whoever is in power, regardless of their record on human rights and corruption.
This is evidenced in its dealings with the regime, which others have criticized, from Myanmar’s military leaders to Hungary’s Viktor Orban. While not recognizing the Taliban, it is hedging its stakes in Afghanistan by working with the country’s current rulers, despite Beijing adopting a form of radical Islam to avoid infiltration into its troubled, largely Muslim region of Xinjiang. has sought to support, which shares a narrow border with Afghanistan and a very large border with Kazakhstan.
China generally reserves action, military and otherwise, for matters in which its own security is considered to be at risk, such as in the 1950–53 Korean War, or more recently, its disputes with India. In violent incidents along the border, and especially with Taiwan, which China threatened to invade if it did not agree to unite. Beijing responded with brutal trade and diplomatic retaliation against Lithuania when the small Baltic nation broke diplomatic convention by allowing Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius under the name “Taiwan” instead of “Chinese Taipei”.
How does China view military alliances?
Troops mostly from Russia were deployed to Kazakhstan last week by the Collective Security Treaty OrganizationA grouping of six former Soviet states at the request of the president amid unprecedented violence. China officially avoids such security alliances, although the SCO, which Beijing dominates with Moscow, has a security component, currently limited to joint training and other non-combat missions.
Unlike the CSTO, “there is no agreement about sending troops from SCO member states,” said Chinese international security expert Li Wei. “Furthermore, China sticks to the core principle of not using force in other countries.”
UN peacekeeping operations are the rare exception, and China is quick to point out that of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, forces are the largest contributor to such missions.
Given the growing strength of China’s military, some experts expect Beijing to be more capable of military intervention in the future. Oxford’s miter also points to a growing “grey zone” of Chinese private security enterprises that can be used to protect Chinese interests “without any formal government intervention”.