China-Kazakhstan relations

Baiterek, a monument and observation tower, in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. (Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan)

[Big read] Kazakhstan’s economic emergence amid US-China-Russia power struggle

Kazakhstan’s development since gaining independence in 1991 has led it to become a leader in the Central Asia region. With much potential still waiting to be explored in this resource-rich country, Kazakhstan is walking a tightrope to balance its relations with the US, China and Russia. Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong shares findings from her visit.
A visitor holds his mobile phone near a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan Parlor Convention Center in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 31 December 2020. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's softening stance on its ‘no limits’ relations with Russia

The lateral move of “Russia expert” Le Yucheng from the Chinese foreign ministry to the National Radio and Television Administration is undoubtedly a career setback for the man once tipped to be the next foreign minister. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong explores possible reasons for the move and opines that it could indicate Beijing's changing attitude towards Russia and the war in Ukraine.
A view shows a burning police car during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 5 January 2022. (Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters)

US, Russia and China using Kazakhstan unrest as a proxy

China and Russia have been quick to point to external hands, namely the US’s, in stoking recent unrest in Kazakhstan. But the main issue is not so much what precipitated the unrest, but how it has been expedient for major players US, Russia and China to capitalise on it for geopolitical gain. Zhang Chi analyses the situation.
In this picture taken on 13 November 2021, Taliban fighters stop next to destroyed armoured vehicles displayed along a road in Ghazni, Afghanistan. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China and Russia compete for influence in Central Asia

China-Russia rivalry in the Central Asian region is intensifying, with the US's departure from Afghanistan and the two countries seeking to fill the power vacuum by working within their Central Asian spheres of dominance. Can the two powers work together to foster greater regional stability or will they let their competitiveness get the better of them?
Troops are seen at the main square where hundreds of people were protesting against the government, after authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 6 January 2022. (Mariya Gordeyeva/Reuters)

China and Russia’s shared interest in preventing a pro-US Kazakhstan

To help quell the current unrest in Kazakhstan, Russia sent troops while China gave only verbal support to Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Despite their different levels of commitment, Russia and China share a common desire not to see Kazakhstan developing closer ties with the US. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan analyses the situation.
China can easily face a passive disadvantage in handling its external relations if callow nationalists gain control of the Internet. In this photo taken on 14 April 2020, people wearing face masks are seen at a main shopping area after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, China. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese nationalist internet warriors creating diplomatic disputes for China

China is finding out that overzealous nationalist internet warriors can do its foreign relations more harm than good. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu learns that China's neighbouring countries are taking these internet voices seriously because of China's unique political system.