Kazakhstan keen on balancing co-op with China, Russia and US

Business Materials 8 June 2018 11:18 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 8

By Ali Mustafayev – Trend:

Kazakhstan, like most countries, seeks to balance relations with major powers, maintaining close relations not only with the US and China, but also Russia, James M. Dorsey, a political analyst, senior fellow at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, told Trend.

“In terms of China, there is much at stake for Kazakhstan that like China and Russia is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). China is a key Kazakh energy export market while Kazakhstan in an important node on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. As such, economic and trade relations are likely to figure prominently in Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s talks with Chinese leaders, during his visit to China”, said Dorsey.

He also stressed that Nazarbayev’s visit to China comes days after Kazakhstan, for the first time, publicly raised the issue of Kazakh nationals disappearing on visits to north-western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

“Several Kazakh nationals have described being detained and sent to a re-education camp. An equally prickly issue is growing anti-Chinese sentiment in Kazakhstan sparked by resentment against Chinese citizens being employed by Chinese-funded projects”, said Dorsey.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is on a state visit to China, within participation in the summit of the heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao. He already met with the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping. The sides discussed future expansion of bilateral cooperation, stressing that in the last five years China and Kazakhstan signed 127 agreements worth $67 billion.

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