China supports strong measures taken by Kazakhstan in quelling unrest: Xi

Kazakh service members standing guard at a checkpoint following the protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan 7, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) President Xi Jinping has expressed China's support for Kazakhstan in quelling the unrest.

He said Beijing opposes attempts to undermine the security and stability of its neighbour, and also opposes attempts to damage the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Xi made the remarks in a verbal message sent to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Friday (Jan 7).

In the message, he expressed his sincere sympathy to Mr Tokayev over the unrest in Kazakhstan that has caused major casualties and loss of property.

Mr Xi said he appreciated the strong measures taken by the Kazakh president at a critical moment to stabilise the situation, saying his efforts have demonstrated that Mr Tokayev, as a statesman, is greatly responsible for his country and people.

While noting that China is firmly opposed to external forces maliciously creating turmoil and masterminding a "colour revolution" in Kazakhstan, Mr Xi also expressed strong opposition to any attempt to thwart the two countries' friendship and make trouble for their cooperation.

China stands ready to provide necessary support to Kazakhstan to help it overcome its difficulties, said Mr Xi.

Whatever risks and challenges it might face, China will, as always, be a trustworthy friend and reliable partner of Kazakhstan, he said, adding that the Chinese people will stand with the Kazakh people forever.

Fresh violence erupted and gun battles resumed in Kazakhstan's largest city of Almaty on Friday as Russia sent in paratroopers to help put down the countrywide unrest.

According to the Mir-24 TV channel, eyewitnesses confirmed that clashes took place in the vicinity of Republic Square in Almaty.

The military is using loudspeakers to demand the streets are cleared. In addition, all residents have received SMS messages reminding them of the curfew, the TV channel reported.

Mr Tokayev said on Friday that order had been mostly restored in the country after days of unprecedented violence.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday that Kazakhstan has adopted a series of effective measures to fight terrorism and violence in order to maintain social stability.

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