The China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization has said the regional security pact is ready to act in Kazakhstan, fueling concerns that China could join with Russia in sending troops to the central Asian country in difficulty.
The eight-country SCO, formed by China in 2001, has pledged to extend assistance to Kazakhstan “if there is a corresponding request from the relevant body of Kazakhstan,” the official Russian news agency reported. TASS.
The statement implies that China could send troops or security forces to Kazakhstan, contrary to Beijing’s oft-stated policy of opposing interference in the internal affairs of other nations. Kazakhstan was a founding member of the 20-year-old alliance.
SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming said in a statement on Friday that “the maintenance of internal stability and social harmony in the Republic of Kazakhstan as a member state of the SCO is one key factors for peace and security in the region “.
“We are counting on the stabilization of the situation as quickly as possible, the restoration of law and order and public security in the country, guaranteeing the rights and interests of all representatives of the multi-ethnic and multi-faith people of Kazakhstan,” said said Mr. Zhang. in a report.
In Beijing, the Foreign Ministry also said China was ready to help the Kazakh government of authoritarian leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
“China stands ready to work with the Kazakh side to implement the important political consensus of our heads of state and do its best to provide the necessary support and assistance to Kazakhstan,” the spokesperson said. Wang Wenbin to reporters.
Wang also suggested that the unrest in the country was the result of “certain outside forces” opposing stability in the region, a line that Tokayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin also adopted.
“China is ready to work with Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation between law enforcement and security services, strengthen bilateral cooperation against external interference, defend the political system of the two countries[s] and the security of political power, prevent and thwart any attempt to incite a “color revolution”, and jointly oppose the interference and infiltration of any outside force, “Wang said.
Protests erupted in Kazakhstan on January 2 against rising compressed gas prices in the west of the country, and turned into mass riots and attacks on government buildings.
The government reported that 164 people were killed in a government crackdown.
Moscow also sent troops at the request of the Kazakh government, as part of a separate mission from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military grouping of six former Soviet republics dominated by the Kremlin.