The latest violent unrest in Kazakhstan manifested that the situations in the Central Asia region still face serious challenges and that some foreign forces do not wish to see peace and stability in the region, said Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao on Wednesday.
Speaking with the Global Times during an exclusive interview on Wednesday, Zhang said that China is willing to enhance cooperation with the law-enforcement and security departments of the central Asian country, broaden bilateral collaboration in countering external interference, safeguard the political systems and state powers of the two countries, and guard against and oppose any plots of "color revolution."
According to Zhang, as of press time, there is no report of death or injuries of Chinese nationals from the riots. However, some facilities and vehicles of Chinese firms in the country were damaged, while some Chinese citizens were robbed, and some others suffered economic losses due to the shutdown of bank system.
Apart from initiating an immediate emergency responding mechanism and releasing safety alert via different online channels right after the occurrence of the turmoil, the Chinese Embassy and consulates also provided guidance to local Chinese firms, students, chamber of commerce and other organizations to help them preventing risks and staying safety, via phone calls and instant messages one after another, especially when internet service was shut down in Kazakhstan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday sent a verbal message to Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev over the recent large-scale riots in Kazakhstan.
China strongly rejects any attempt by external forces to provoke unrest and instigate a "color revolution" in Kazakhstan, as well as any attempt to harm the friendship between China and Kazakhstan and disrupt the two countries' cooperation. China is ready to provide necessary support to help Kazakhstan overcome the difficulties, Xi said.
Zhang told the Global Times that such message fully demonstrates the high level of China-Kazakhstan permanent comprehensive strategic partnership, and also proved that the profound friendships between the two countries in times of crisis.
Zhang questioned the reactions and behaviors of some countries to the violent riots, saying that "for example, some of them doubted the legitimacy of Kazakhstan's request for help to the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Don't they want the Kazakh government to quickly pacify the chaos and stop the violence? Don't they want the mastermind behind the scenes to be found out?"
The Chinese envoy to Kazakhstan also extended welcome to President Tokayev to the upcoming Beijing Olympic Winter Games, and he believed that such international event would greatly push forward the peace and cooperation, deepen understandings of people from all around the world, and surely will become a new bridge of bonds between two peoples of China and Kazakhstan.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pledged China's firm support to Kazakhstan in ending violence in the country and safeguarding security, during a phone call on Monday with Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi.
Wang also stressed China's willingness to jointly oppose interference and infiltration by any external forces. "After the storm comes the rainbow. We are convinced that under the strong leadership of President Tokayev, peace and stability will be fully restored and Kazakhstan will emerge even more resilient and stronger from this dark hour," Wang said.
The number of people arrested by security forces during the violent anti-government protests in Kazakhstan has reached 7,939, the Interior Ministry of Kazakhstan announced on Monday, including the country's former intelligence chief, during last week's violence, marking the worst unrest the former Soviet nation has faced since gaining independence 30 years ago.
The National Security Committee said on Monday that the situation had stabilized and that security forces had restored order, local media reported.
Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that peaceful protests were hijacked by terrorist, extremist and criminal groups to escalate tensions and violence, and Kazakhstan has been subjected to armed aggression by well-coordinated terrorist groups trained abroad.