Kazakhstan designated Monday as a National Day of Mourning to commemorate the civilians, police officers and soldiers who died in the rioting that started early last week in the country.
Although the situation has stabilized and is now under control, the country’s National Security Committee said on Monday that it may take some time for Kazakhstan to iron out all the social, economic and political issues that seem to have been at play, especially as it will need to be vigilant to external forces hoping to exploit them to destabilize the country.
The verbal message President Xi Jinping sent to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Friday, along with the telephone call between State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Kazakh counterpart on Monday, not only conveyed China’s sincere wish that Kazakhstan can quickly restore order, as well as its readiness to provide help to that end, but also the observation of China on the nature of the incident, the lesson of which should be heeded by other countries in the region.
As President Xi underlined in his message, and Wang also stressed, there were obviously external forces attempting to provoke unrest and instigate a “color revolution” in Kazakhstan, something China strongly opposes, and something the whole region must work together to resist.
External interference in Kazakhstan is evidenced by the fact that many of the more than 5,000 rioters who have been detained are foreign nationals and some detainees confessed they were paid in US dollars to take to the streets. Also, large numbers of unidentified personnel were caught trying to enter the country with arms and large amounts of currency; and the attacks on public institutions in all major cities of the country were organized and systematic.
What happened in the country has gone far beyond “protests” by the standards of most countries. Except, of course, those of the United States. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the Kazakh government to respect the rights of the “protesters”, and the US State Department urged the Kazakh government to respect “human rights” and restore the country’s internet services, something that was being done on Monday. Social media played an indispensable role in instigating and plotting the unrest, Kazakh authorities said.
Vividly exposing the US’ hypocrisy, the US administration called the rioters who set the municipal government building in Almaty ablaze and ransacked stores in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, “protesters” whose human rights must be respected, while describing those who stormed the Capitol on Jan 6 last year as a “brutal” “violent mob”. And it called the “protesters” in Kazakhstan as “parties” the Kazakh government should work with for a resolution of the “state of emergency”, while vowing to “make sure that such an attack (on the Capitol and US democracy) never, never happens again”.
As President Xi noted in his message, the decisive and effective actions the Kazakh government took helped to quickly calm the situation, and demonstrated a highly responsible attitude to the people.
It is to be hoped that the regional security mechanisms such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization can do more to sustain regional peace and stability, and strengthen joint efforts to fight against any external elements attempting to instigate “color revolutions” in the region.
Editorial, China Daily