China Says It Supports Kazakhstan’s Efforts to End ‘Chaos’
(Bloomberg) -- China has backed Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s violent crackdown on protesters, saying it hopes the “strong measures” will bring calm.
President Xi Jinping said the country firmly opposes external forces deliberately fostering unrest and instigating a “color revolution” in Kazakhstan. China is willing to provide necessary support and help Kazakhstan through this difficult time, Xi was cited by state broadcaster CCTV as saying in a message to his counterpart in that nation.
An unknown number of demonstrators died in the clashes in Kazakhstan over rising fuel prices, discontent regarding living standards and widespread corruption. Some 26 protesters and 18 officers were killed, police said, after earlier giving an estimate of “dozens.” Tokayev had pledged to respond “harshly” to put down the biggest challenge to the nation’s leadership since independence in 1991.
“China supports all efforts that help the Kazakh authorities end the chaos as soon as possible and firmly opposes external forces’ acts to deliberately create social unrest and incite violence,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday at a regular news briefing in Beijing.
He added that China, “as a brotherly neighbor,” would offer any help necessary to Kazakhstan.
Tokayev has blamed the unrest on unspecified outside forces, and took the unprecedented step of asking Russia and other members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization to send in troops. He has vowed to continue operations against what he called “terrorists.”
Kazakstan imposed a state of emergency and internet access was cut in much of the giant country. The unrest led the central bank to temporarily halt financial market operations.
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