By Zhang Andi
BEIJING - Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country, whose territory is equivalent in size to Western Europe. Kazakhstan shares a 1,778-kilometer border with China and is a crucial link in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Since Jan. 2, 2021, protests broke out in Kazakhstan to oppose the rise of liquefied petroleum gas prices and were fuelled into a nationwide turmoil.
Kazakhstan Ambassador to China held a press conference on Jan. 10 to explain the situation in Kazakhstan. According to Gabit Koishibayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to China, what began in western Kazakhstan as a peaceful rally with demands of a purely socio-economic nature was followed by mass unrest in which participants did not make any specific economic or even political demands, and the rioters had no intention of negotiating with the authorities.
In the press conference on January 10, Ambassador Koishibayev stated that Kazakh law enforcement had arrested more than 8,000 people in the protests by Jan. 10, no Chinese citizens included. Ambassador Koishibayev stressed that not all of the 8,000 were terrorists, but some had broken administrative laws or engaged in looting during the demonstrations. He said, President Tokayev had instructed the law enforcement agencies to set up a team of investigators to conduct a large-scale investigation, and when the investigation was completed, the results would be released to the international community.
Ambassador Koishibayev introduced that the Internet service terminals caused by the protests in Kazakhstan have been restored and the following problems, including the interruption of transactions during the shutdown, have been resolved. Schools and kindergartens have adjusted the holiday time, and work units and state institutions are gradually resuming services.
Here's a comprehensive timeline of the Kazakhstan turmoil.