The assurances of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi came as Washington challenged the deployment of Russian boots on the ground in the former Soviet republic and the regrouping of nearly 100,000 soldiers near the Ukraine. He told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Monday that China supports a Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSC) to help Kazakhstan suppress “violent and terrorist forces” on condition of “respecting the sovereignty of Kazakhstan” , according to the South China Morning Post.
He said the CSTO had played “a positive role in restoring stability” in the Central Asian country.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered a ruthless crackdown last week after protests against soaring fuel prices were hijacked by violent groups whose members attacked government buildings and seized the airport of the world’s largest city of the country, Almaty.
Russian-led forces are expected to start withdrawing from Kazakhstan two days after stabilizing the country, Tokayev said on Tuesday.
Russia sent thousands of troops to Kazakhstan within hours of a request for help from Mr Tokayev. Beijing said it will work with Kazakhstan to improve security cooperation.
Mr. Wang told his Russian counterpart: “China and Russia, as permanent members of the UN Security Council and friendly neighbors of Central Asian countries, should never allow chaos or war to break out in the region “.
He added that the two sides should continue to deepen coordination and cooperation, oppose interference by external forces in the internal affairs of Central Asian countries and guard against “color revolutions” and ” three forces “that are terrorism, separatism and extremism.
Wang also urged Russia to support the Beijing-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a political, economic and security alliance that includes China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and India.
Mr Tokayev described the violence in his country as an attempted coup d’état with Islamist militants among the perpetrators. At least 160 people have died in the unrest and nearly 10,000 arrested.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BRITISH BREXIT LEADING THE WAY TO NATO
The White House said on Tuesday it was too early to say whether Russia was seriously considering a path to diplomacy in remarks made a day after Russia and the United States gave no sign of narrowing their differences over Ukraine and European security at large during the talks in Geneva.
Russia has said it is not optimistic after the first round of talks and will not let its demands for security guarantees from the West get bogged down in torturous negotiations.
Wang insisted that China would deepen its strategic “back-to-back” relations with Russia, protect the “legitimate” interests and rights of both countries in addition to maintaining world peace.
The South China Morning Post reports that China is also pushing for closer ties with Russia-backed Belarus, which has been sanctioned by the UK, US, EU and Canada for the crisis in Russia. migrants at its border with the EU.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been accused of orchestrating an influx of tens of thousands of immigrants along its borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told Lukashenko on Monday that his country was ready to work with Belarus to build political confidence, strengthen cooperation and oppose interference by outside forces in Belarusian affairs.
Xi also voiced Beijing’s opposition to what he described as attempts by foreign forces to stir up trouble with Kazakhstan and any effort to divide the two countries.
Zhu Yongbiao, a Central Asian affairs expert at Lanzhou University, told the South China Morning Post that Beijing’s support for Russia’s military engagement in Kazakhstan and its continued cooperation with the Kremlin is a product of of its own economic and security needs in its own country and in Central Asia.
He said China fears Western “interference” will spread to other countries and the West will support more protests in other countries.