For the visit of the President of Kazakhstan to China.

What is the main result of the multi-vector foreign policy of Nursultan Nazarbayev over the past quarter of a century? The result is simple and obvious: Kazakhstan is probably one of the few countries in the world that does not have enemies and detractors in the foreign arena. Since the first day of independence, Nazarbayev has given paramount importance to relations with neighbors, other states, and the entire world community in the interests of his own country and people. They say that foreign policy is inextricably linked with the internal policy of the state. Interethnic and interfaith harmony within the country, democracy, stability and sustainable development, social policy and market reforms are inextricably linked with good-neighborly relations with border states, nuclear disarmament policy, integration initiatives in the CIS, etc.

According to the Constitution, the Head of State determines foreign and domestic policy. And we have something to be proud of for 28 years of independence. Probably, there is a certain logic and meaning in this, when on March 19 of this year, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his now famous speech, named his successor Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as the most worthy for the post of President of the country. But Tokayev was not only the executor of Nazarbayev’s foreign policy. The former Foreign Minister served as both Prime Minister and Secretary of State. A three-year “business trip” to the UN, where Tokayev was Deputy Secretary General, bore fruit. When the UN members chose between Kazakhstan and Thailand for a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the overwhelming majority of countries voted for Kazakhstan. By the way, few people know that Tokayev himself passed the crucible of fierce competition for his position (there were 10-12 candidates, Tokayev and the former Italian foreign Minister reached the “final”; Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stopped at Tokayev’s candidacy).

How did the second President of Kazakhstan begin his foreign policy activity? That’s right, from the official visit to Russia, our main strategic partner (the Eurasian Economic Union, the Customs Union, the CSTO, the CIS). It’s not about contracts and structural organizations. We have both de jure and de facto eternal friendship with Russia. There is too much that connects us, and there is nothing that could separate us. After the collapse of the USSR, it was Russia and Kazakhstan that demonstrated to the whole world how to build fraternal and mutually beneficial relations in new conditions and under a new geopolitical scenario.

Tokayev made his second visit to Uzbekistan. There have always been good relations with Uzbekistan in general, but over the past 2 years there has been a real breakthrough in them. Friendship and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is the key to stability and prosperity of the entire Central Asia.

President Tokayev is making his third visit to China, and I would like to dwell on this in detail. It’s not about sinophobia (individual manifestations of anti-Chinese sentiments in our society). After all, they were talking about the” yellow danger ” 100 years ago. Back in the early twentieth century, the then 400-million-strong China inspired awe and fear. And the fact is that mass anti-Chinese prejudices are based on ignorance, unwillingness to know their powerful neighbor, who, by the way, will not go anywhere, will not move and with whom it is necessary to build smart and correct relations. Actually, Nazarbayev has just built them: both Kazakh-Chinese foreign policy (for example, the SCO) and trade and economic relations (China is in the first place in terms of trade turnover) are mutually beneficial for our countries and peoples. However, we have some citizens who are afraid of the” Chinese threat”,” Chinese expansion”, actually demanding to curtail active cooperation with this superpower.

Thousands and thousands of various books and scientific studies have been written about China. I will recommend one and publicly ask (within the framework of the state program “Rukhani zhangyru”) translate it into Kazakh and distribute it in all schools and universities. This is Henry Kissinger’s book “About China”, without any doubt, a world bestseller. If the protesting youth at the anti-Chinese pickets knew at least a little about China (and not only from this book), then I am sure that the vision and attitude towards China would be completely different. Modern China can be understood only in the context of its history, continuous five-thousand-year statehood, unique civilization and indestructible traditions of this country and people.

At the beginning of the book, Kissinger kills on the spot with one historical fact. In October 1962, Chinese leader Mao Zedong gathered top military and political leaders for a meeting in Beijing. On the Sino-Indian border in the Himalayas, the troops of the two countries were on the verge of a military clash over a small disputed area. Mao decided to turn to the old Chinese tradition and told his party and military assets that in the entire history of relations, India and China had only “one and a half” wars. The first war occurred 1,300 years ago during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), when China supported an Indian prince in the fight against an aggressive and illegal enemy. After the successful end of the war, both countries maintained good relations for a long time. This historical lesson, according to Mao, testified that India and China have absolutely no ground for hostility, much less war. The “half-war”, Mao believed, occurred in 1262, when the Mongol conqueror Tamerlane, probably with our distant ancestors, came to India, plundered and burned Delhi, killed 100,000 prisoners. Mao Zedong explained that it was “half a war” in the sense that at that time the Mongols and the Chinese were in the same military-political community. Indeed, the Mongolian military management, Chinese engineers, equipment and battering machines, numerous Kipchak cavalry terrified the whole world of that time. Mao called for drawing historical lessons, showing “restraint and integrity”. In short, China delivered a short but crushing blow to the Indian positions, quickly retreated to the line of control and did not even capture prisoners and Indian heavy weapons.

Why this story? And to the fact that in no country in the world would the head of state ever start a war based on strategic principles and events of a thousand years ago (this is despite the fact that officially communist China has abandoned the feudal past of its country). The uniqueness of China lies in its continuous multi-thousand-year statehood, civilization and culture. In fact, any nation is inclined to consider itself forever. Every nation has its own myth about its origin. The peculiarity of Chinese civilization is that it has no beginning. The mentality and DNA of the Chinese are as follows: China is the center of the Earth, unlike Egypt or the ancient Sumerians, who appeared as traditional nation-states, China has always existed as a natural phenomenon. The Chinese knew about Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, the northern nomads, but in the understanding of the Chinese, China is the center of the Earth, the Middle state, the Celestial Empire of the world. The borders between China and the surrounding peoples consisted more in cultural differences than in political and territorial distinctions.

If the United States considered its main mission to spread democracy and human rights around the world, sometimes by force of arms, then China ruled out even administrative pressure, not to mention military. The exclusivity of the United States is in the missionary character. The exclusivity of China is in the culture. China is not engaged in converting other countries and peoples to its faith, neither a thousand years ago, nor now. China does not believe that its programs and ideas should have force outside the country – the successor of the Middle State, whose strength and power was a unique culture. No country can boast of such a long history of civilization, close connection with the ancient history, strategic principles of state management. Just imagine, the first discovered Chinese characters date back to the second millennium BC (Shang Dynasty). Modern Chinese freely read the inscriptions of Confucius, who lived and worked in the V century BC. The Chinese language and culture, philosophy and aesthetics, the political power and jurisdiction of the emperor turned out to be much stronger than the nomad cavalry and battering machines. The area of distribution of this culture and Confucian values exceeded the size of continental Europe.

It is surprising that long before the Columbus expedition, the Chinese had a powerful fleet, much larger and more efficient than the Spanish armada. But unlike the Europeans, China has never shown territorial claims. What for? China is already the center of the Earth, the Chinese attitude is self-sufficiency. If the Europeans, discovering new lands, considered it necessary to convert everyone to Christianity with fire and sword, then China never sought to own overseas colonies at all. China, sincerely considering the surrounding peoples as barbarians, has never sought to turn them into adherents of Confucianism or make them Buddhists. This amazing and unique isolation permeated the worldview of every Chinese. From generation to generation, the Chinese have been convinced that their civilization is not among the civilizations of other peoples, but a Civilization in itself, or, in the words of the American political scientist Lucien Pai: “a civilization pretending to be a state.” Not now, the” Chinese dragon ” has appeared, it has always been, surpassing European countries in size, population and economy.

For 18 of the last 20 centuries, China has produced the largest part of the world’s GDP. Back in 1820, China produced 30% of the world’s GDP, which exceeded the GDP of Europe and the United States combined. The French traveler Francois Quesnay wrote in 1766: “No one can deny the fact that this country is the most beautiful in the world, the most populous and the most prosperous kingdom of all known to us. An empire like China is equal to what the whole of Europe could be, being united under the rule of one monarch.” Yes, China missed the industrial revolution, because, considering itself the Celestial Empire of the world, it only occasionally perceived ideas and inventions from abroad. But again, just imagine: China existed in the time of Tutankhamun and Hammurabi, when there was no ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. All empires were created by force, and none of them could survive. Chinese history is also replete with numerous uprisings, bloody internal strife and wars.

But only in this country, thanks to the unique culture, the rulers at all times were able to foresee and shape the future – this is the highest goal of the art of state management. China was, is and remains because force often gave way to consensus. “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has been the main treatise of military thought for two and a half thousand years. Meanwhile, Sun Tzu considered war a necessary evil that should be avoided in every possible way. He noted that ” war is like fire, people who do not lay down their weapons will die from their own weapons.” Well, if the war has begun, then it should be conducted quickly in order to avoid economic losses. Sun Tzu believed that massacres and atrocities should be avoided, because this could provoke resistance and give the enemy the opportunity to turn the war to their advantage. I wonder if, say, the Nazis studied the works of a Chinese thinker, having unleashed the bloodiest war 80 years ago? Or the same Japanese militarists who committed the most horrific atrocities and the wildest crimes against humanity in China?

As you can see, Chinese cultural values were not something special and far from real life and common sense. And indeed, the Chinese culture and philosophy of life is extremely simple, attractive and universal. If Buddhism appeared in Indian culture with its core of meditation and immersion in the inner world, Jews, Christians and Muslims promoted monotheism with its main postulate about life after death, then in China there was nothing religious through the prism of the listed world religions-Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. As Kissinger accurately noted, the Chinese never invented myths about the origin of the world, since their universe was created by the Chinese, has neither beginning nor end. China has entered the new era as an empire that claims to be world-wide in its culture and political institutions, but does nothing to spread its idea of the world order. The Chinese even abandoned the tradition of navigation, so as not to conquer overseas colonies like Europeans. The power of Chinese philosophy and culture was so strong that when the Europeans began to “open” China to the world with guns and cruisers, the Chinese considered it as another barbarian attack. The reader may ask the question: why such a lengthy excursion? Answer: The attitude of the Chinese has changed little since the time of Confucius.

Napoleon said 200 years ago: “Let China sleep, for when it wakes up, the world will be shaken.” I don’t know what Napoleon meant or foresaw – globalization or China’s abrupt exit from isolation, but one thing is obvious: China has woken up. Over the past 40 years, China has made a giant leap and turned into an industrial workshop of the world. Chinese exports are growing exponentially. The largest financial corporations in the West and Japan are constantly investing in the Chinese economy, which is already the number one economy in the world without five minutes. Everywhere they talk about the “Chinese threat”, all the leading experts say that China is striving for world hegemony, that there is a strong confrontation between China and the United States and the collective West for world leadership. The US-China trade war is unfolding before our eyes. So far, China is winning, because for a quarter of a century there has been an annual trade surplus in favor of China (several hundred billion dollars).

What place does Kazakhstan occupy in China’s plans (if there are any, of course)? Is it really expansion, as some, especially impulsive Kazakh patriots say? After all, expansion is a policy of spreading its political and economic influence to other countries in order to seize foreign territories and markets. Has China seized, is it seizing or is it going to seize the land of Kazakhstan? The answer is one: there was not, there is not and there will never be such a thing. China is never going to seize the territory of Kazakhstan or any other state under any circumstances. Otherwise, China will cease to be China and will erase all its unique history and culture. Moreover, the slightest territorial aggression will cause a collapse in China itself, whose population is 56 nationalities, and researchers count more than 80 separate national languages and dialects. When someone seriously begins to claim that China is going to “register” Kazakhstan in the future, it is such nonsense that it is not necessary to spend even two seconds discussing it.

Therefore, when a few anti-Chinese rallies took place recently in some cities of Kazakhstan, the Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, forgetting diplomatic etiquette, exclaimed, addressing the protesters: “Are you out of your mind?!” I still understand when illiterate, superficial and limited people suffer from sinophobic prejudices in this matter, but when the former ambassador of Kazakhstan to China says that “the population of China is huge, and the land is small”, that the Central Asian countries may lose their independence, that President Tokayev should openly tell his people before visiting China, that there is a Chinese threat to the Kazakhs is beyond my understanding. 999,999 Chinese out of one million will move to Singapore, the Philippines, Vancouver or Los Angeles for permanent residence, but not to Kazakhstan. For me, this is obvious, as the law of universal gravitation. Yes, now more than 20 million Chinese live and work in America alone.

Does China consider Kazakhstan as a sales market? Now China considers the whole world as a sales market, but there are priorities. The unconditional zone of Chinese interests is Vietnam, Bangladesh, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Burma, and African countries. This is despite the fact that the powerful and dynamically developing Japanese and South Korean economies are constantly nearby. In general, for China, the Pacific and South Asian regions are vital not only economically, but also for long-term political interests and future prosperity. There was a long-standing thousand-year-old Chinese tradition-to offer benefits and masterfully use the political arena, patiently seek recognition of its central role from neighboring peoples, demonstrating an image of stunning majesty, so that potential aggressors could not even think of testing China for military strength.

In recent times, China has become a model in conducting “real policies”, an adept of strategic doctrines that were clearly and radically different from the strategy and diplomacy of the West. The struggle for spheres of influence and sales markets, territorial disputes and protracted economic crises led to two world wars in Europe in the twentieth century. Germany and France have lost millions of lives for Alsace and Lorraine, and China has never thought of establishing any control over the Japanese archipelago or annexing Korea. The centuries-old, eventful history has taught the Chinese leadership that not every problem has its own quick solution and that too much emphasis on complete domination over some individual event can destroy the harmony of Jungo (as the Chinese still call their country-the Middle Kingdom). The Chinese have never taken any risks. Where Western countries were going on a rapid offensive, the ideal tactic for the Chinese was considered to be skillful diplomacy, the use of roundabout ways and the patient accumulation of even small advantages. China has waited patiently for 99 years and waited for the return of Hong Kong and Macau.

I am sure that over time, Taiwan will become part of China not only de jure, but also de facto. If for the great German military theorist Karl Clausewitz “war was a continuation of politics, but by other means”, then Sun Tzu considered the dominant political and psychological position in which the result of the conflict is the rejection of the conflict. For Western politicians, victories in battles are important, for the Chinese, victories that make battles unnecessary are important.

In the second place, I would designate the markets of the United States and the European Union. Here, the Chinese are trying to close the door, but they crawl through the window. It is impossible to imagine these giant markets with the highest level of purchasing power of the population without Chinese products. As for the CIS countries, there is limited and restrained interest due to the lack of the necessary infrastructure and human capital. Nevertheless, China is the largest creditor and investor here. Kyrgyzstan’s debt to Beijing is 30% of GDP, Tajikistan-25%, Belarus-13%, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan-less than 5%. Turkmenistan owes $ 6.7 billion. Of course, there are fears that financial dependence will lead to political dependence. Washington constantly warns third world countries that they are waiting for debt slavery from China.

They often cite the experience of Sri Lanka. The government had to transfer a newly built new port on the Indian Ocean to China for 99 years to repay its debts to Beijing. But this is in the office! The port did not sail in the direction of the South China Sea. This is not irony. 20 years ago, the Chinese were engaged in dismantling the largest factories in Western Europe and transported factory equipment to Chinese seaports by ships. By the way, Kazakhstan, for example, invested $ 342 million of direct investments in the Georgian economy and leased the port of Batumi for 49 years. We need access to the sea and, in addition to the northern route (through Russia and Belarus), we need a South Caucasian transport corridor with access to Turkey and Europe.

In 2013, China put forward a grandiose “One Belt – One Road” program. Trillions of dollars will be allocated for the construction of bridges, ports,railways and highways, pipelines and other infrastructure facilities from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. China’s main goal is not world hegemony, not expansion for the sake of expansion, but the creation of infrastructure. The Chinese economy has been so dispersed that if it is stopped, there will be a universal catastrophe, and it will begin first of all in China itself, when tens and hundreds of millions will take to the squares and streets. China buys more than 200 million tons of oil annually, otherwise the economy will stand up. China is forced to build an expensive oil pipeline from Western Kazakhstan to Western China.

China needs a developed infrastructure in Africa, Asia, wherever it will be possible to trade potentially in the future. Even without this ambitious program, China was considered the absolute world leader in the development of industrial infrastructure, taking the initiative from America, Europe and Japan, becoming the main supplier of financial and material flows. The entire African continent owes China 20% of its total GDP (over a trillion dollars). America and the West are extremely dissatisfied, but China does not burden its presence in Africa with rhetoric about human rights and democracy, which creates additional favor from the political elites of the continent’s countries. The population is also quite enough, as roads, hospitals, schools, electricity networks, markets are being built to sell Chinese consumer goods. But China does not forget about Europe either. The PRC is gaining a foothold in those countries that are experiencing the most serious economic and financial problems (Greece, Portugal, Italy). Recently, the US State Department openly warned Portugal that the Chinese should not take control of the largest energy and airline companies, banks, and insurance companies. And what if Margaret Thatcher called the Chinese the most enterprising people on the planet at the time?! What if China has constantly had half of the world’s currency reserves for the past 15 years?

In April of this year, Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev participated in the largest forum in Beijing “One Belt – One Road”. We have agreed on the implementation of 55 projects for Kazakhstan in the amount of 27 billion 608 million dollars. At the forum, Nazarbayev said: “China never dictates its conditions, never says:” Live as we live, ” as the West always teaches us. China doesn’t say: “We will help you, and you become like us,” this policy of China likes, attracts.” This assessment is understandable in the light of the historical digression and all the above about the specifics and exclusivity of China and its approaches. What are these projects? 1) Modernization of the plant for the production of powdered polypropylene; 2) production of passenger cars of the JAC brand by large-node assembly methods; 3) production of rice oil; 4) dry port in Khorgos; 5) production of dry mare’s and camel’s milk; 6) production of staple fiber; 7) reconstruction of the Shymkent refinery; 8) development of a multidisciplinary automobile assembly cluster; 9) a project for the construction of a glass factory; 10) entry of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Silk Road Fund into the AIFC; 11) cement production; 12) construction of a solar power plant; 13) organization of tractor production; 14) production of large-diameter welded steel pipes; 15) production of polypropylene; 16) production of calcified salt; 17) construction of a 60 MW power plant; 18) modernization of the Turgusun HPP-1; 19) construction of a 100 MW wind power plant; 20) a plant for the production of industrial explosives; 21) production of ceramic products; 22) construction of a solar power plant; 23) construction of a reservoir water desalination plant; 24) construction of an oil extraction plant; 25) purchase of shares in enterprises producing solar cells; 26) production of mobile drilling rigs; 27) construction of a wind power plant with a capacity of 50 MW; 28) processing and production of natural stone products; 29) production of carbon black; 30) production of cable products; 31) mining, chemical and metallurgical complex in Zhambyl region; 32) industrial development of tungsten ore deposits; 33) production of complex alloys.


The remaining projects are still at the stage of preparatory work (an electrolytic manganese plant, processing of hazardous oil waste, a complex for processing agricultural crops, the creation of a biochemical cluster, the construction of a thermal power plant, and others).

Absolutely in all projects there is a foreign labor force as a management and 99% is a local labor force. Tens of thousands of jobs are being created, and all products are guaranteed to have a sales market – China.


  According to official data, there are currently 4,300 Chinese specialists in Kazakhstan under the quota for attracting foreign labor. The quota for 2019 is 23,000 people. If there are concerns in the field of ecology, then it is possible and necessary to establish public control before the implementation of the project, everything should be extremely open. But how can we demand to actually stop cooperation with China – a superpower that has maintained the most friendly and fruitful bilateral relations with Kazakhstan for 28 years?! How can one be unfriendly to a nuclear superpower that has 1,700 km of border with Kazakhstan and is today one of the world leaders in digital technologies, innovative economy (5G Big Data), artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, supercomputers, robotics?! China is getting richer and is in dire need of high-quality and environmentally friendly agricultural products, and here is an untilled field for Kazakhstan.

Joint investment projects have been implemented for a long time in the field of processing and exporting wheat, sugar, milk, meat, wool, flax, tomato, rapeseed oil and other agricultural products. Of course, I would like to have a joint venture with China in the field of robotics or the Internet of Things, for this purpose Bolashak was launched and Nazarbayev University was created, but I am sure that this is a matter of the near future. By the way, during the official visit of President Tokayev to Beijing, a supercomputer for processing big data will be handed over to the Kazakh side, agreements in IT technologies will be signed. We have talented and creative young people, and the authorities create all the conditions for their creative development and heuristic thinking.

It is impossible to implement the “One Belt, One Road” project without Kazakhstan. Almost all transit land routes run through Kazakhstan. It is through our country that China is rapidly entering the markets of the CIS, Europe and the Middle East. Since the declaration of independence and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Kazakhstan, all Chinese leaders have always treated our country with great respect and sincere interest. The Chinese leader has always cemented the friendship between our countries and developed mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation. Even now, Chinese Leader Xin Jinping has invited our President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to pay an official visit to China in order to consolidate all the valuable things in our relations and, if necessary, bring these bilateral agreements to a new qualitative level. The Chinese side has always highly noted the historical role of the First President of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev in establishing a comprehensive Kazakh-Chinese partnership. It is noteworthy that the second President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in the mid-70s of the last century, after graduating from MGIMO, began his diplomatic career at the USSR Embassy in Beijing. He is fluent in Chinese, is a kind of Sinologist.

About the specifics of China and the importance of this superpower for our country, you can find a lot of interesting and informative in Tokayev’s books “Under the banner of Independence”, “Overcoming: diplomatic essays of a Kazakh minister”, “Light and Shadow: essays of a Kazakh politician”, “Foreign policy of Kazakhstan in the context of globalization” and others. Since the first days of its sovereignty, Kazakhstan has taken a firm course towards a multi-vector foreign policy, trying to develop cooperation with all centers of economic power and key geopolitical players. The United States and the European Union, for example, are ahead of China in terms of investments in the economy of Kazakhstan, but not everything is measured by investments, loans and financial assistance. Kazakhstan does not seek to be a major player in the international arena, but you must agree that it is unique and significant that our country is in the CSTO with Russia, in the SCO with China, has strategic partnership relations with the United States, Great Britain and Uzbekistan. Being between Russia, China and the Muslim world, Kazakhstan will continue its multi-vector foreign policy, recognized by the whole world and which has become the property of world diplomacy.


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