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  • Simon Bowman Land

August 2020


Tags: Corona China Embassy Kazakhstan

A story detailing the case of the Chinese embassy in Nur-Sultan warning Chinese citizens in Kazakhstan to be wary of a new ‘pneumonia’ that is deadlier than Covid-19. This was categorically denied by the Kazakhstan government and later the warning was removed from the Chinese embassy webpage. Comment: There had been what appeared to be a surge in pneumonia cases in Kazakhstan but with the corona situation rapidly expanding in Central Asia, mistests tests are frequent. Key Quote: “It's much easier to change statistics than to fight coronavirus." Connected: Pneumonia fudge hiding scale of Central Asia's coronavirus emergency

Nature World News

Tags: cats Silk Road Kazakhstan

The remains of a tomcat on the path of the old Silk Road raised the possibility that Kazakhs had cats as pets and that household animals were domesticated earlier than previously thought. Key Quote: “They also thought that animal domestication and pet care have occurred at a much later time." Connected: Research on human-cat link on ancient Silk Road An ancient tomcat skeleton is found along the Silk Road ________________________________________________________

The Diplomat Tags: Celebrities Kazakhstan Government corona Celebrities, including boxers, musicians, and Instagram influencers appear to be contributing to cynicism in Kazakhstan about the coronavirus and attempts to treat it. It appears that the reason given is a deep distrust of authorities and scepticism of the ability of the government to deal with the epidemic.

Comment: It is unusual for celebrities to be so outspoken against the government in Kazakhstan. ________________________________________________________

Tengrin News

Tags: Land Sales China Kazakhstan Law After protests in 2016 against the selling of land to foreigners (mostly perceived to be Chinese), it appears the Kazakh government has given up on the policy. Key Quote: “We have identified the main problem. The land is not sold to foreigners. We will not return to this issue.” Connected: Kazakhstan's land is not for sale to foreign nationals - Tokayev Kazakhstan’s president says land is not for sale to foreigners Kazakh president says farmland won't be sold to foreigners


The National Interest

Tags: Silk Road China Neo-colonialism A piece that details ideas of the ‘debt diplomacy’ that the BRI has been accused of. It discusses ideas of how Chinese control of finances through resource (mainly oil and gas) buying and trading amongst Central Asian countries. Comment: Anti-Chinese sentiment appears to still be strong amongst the populace but not so much with elites in CA. Key Quote: “At its core, the Belt and Road is a nicely packaged global hegemonic plan.” Royal Holloway Scholar Gul Berna Ozcan Connected: Belt and Road Initiative debt: how big is it and what’s next? 'Despite wolf warrior diplomacy, China fails to secure 'expansionism' beyond Pakistan, N.Korea' China behaving in a hostile fashion around its periphery: Former US NSA John Bolton Chinese investments in Belt and Road Initiatives plunge ______________________________________________________

LA Times

Tags: US China Rivalry One of a series of pieces detailing the growing tensions between the USA and China. Comment: This is, of course, dependent on Trump having the ability to be consistent and disciplined... Key Quote: “There’s any number of developments that point to a much more concerted global pushback against China”. Richard McGregor, senior fellow at Australia’s Lowy Institute Connected: China promises to strengthen Central Asia ties amid struggle with US for influence



Tags: Central Asia China cooperation

A sympathetic piece from the offshoot to CCTV that states that China’s desires for Central Asia are purely for mutual benefit in the spirit of non-interference in domestic politics. Comment: The piece echoes CPC talking points of the ‘win/win’ nature of Chinese engagement in Central Asia. Key Quote: ”Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday that cooperation between China and Central Asia is based on the common needs of both sides and not against third parties.” Connected:

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