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Kazakhstan: Bloggers see China’s “weaponless invasion”

Image by Flickr user guccio (CC-usage).

Image by Flickr user guccio (CC-usage).

Posts about China-related topics are quite frequent in the Kazakh language blogs. Here are some of them, the most recent ones. Some time ago, Akzere published a post titled “China – place of grooms” [KAZ]. The post tells the interesting story of Chinese men eager to have a family. A girl who is a university student posted an advertisement hoping to meet a young man. However, she didn’t expect to see almost 2000 men in front of her dormitory! One of her readers, Meirzhan, remarks,

“The quantitative inequality between men and women in modern China has turned into one of the most important problems of our time that nobody dares to discuss.”

Meirzhan discusses the difficulties of obtaining citizenship for Kazakhs who want to return from China in his post on Neweurasia [KAZ]. He posted another article on the same topic in his own blog, called “Kazakhstan does not need Kazakhs from abroad” [KAZ]:

“If you come closer to the city or regional office responsible for the visas and registration of foreigners, you will see our brothers from China, thronging there, not able to get a visa to their motherland (Kazakhstan). And look at this: Chinese and Uighurs, who need the same document, give their red passports and get the necessary stamp and blue paper with Kazakh symbols without any trouble. But Kazakhs don’t have this privilege, it is restricted for Kazakhs; they are told ‘to wait’.”

Revolted by the situation, Meirzhan also quotes the following opinion of a close friend:

“The Kazakhs who live abroad think that to gather Kazakhs scattered all over the world is the number one problem to be solved. The notion that Kazakhstan does not need them has never crossed their mind.”

The fact that our brothers from China face language problems (they don’t speak Russian) and cultural challenges when coming back to Kazakhstan is widely discussed across the Kaznet. Fortunately, there exist people who can help them. For example, a recent post by blogger Bahtgul65 (who lives in Ustkamenogorsk), entitled “I wish you success, Nurzhan” [KAZ], is about a 22-year-old student who came from China:

“… I was working. A group of youngsters were eating at the café. When they were leaving, one of them approached me and asked: ‘Auntie, do you have any vacancies? My sister is looking for a job.’ I wrote his name and phone number down, intending to call, in case I needed somebody. We started talking.

It turned out that Nurzhan was a 22-year-old student who had moved from China. He said that he would love to open a café like mine, but that he was bad at documents and did not know Russian. ‘Even Kazakhs speak Russian here,’ he remarked.

Nurzhan’s parents passed away when they came back to Kazakhstan. He has two younger sisters to take care of.”

Blogger Ertai, who lives and studies in China, writes very interesting posts on social and political issues there. In his post. “Military competition” [KAZ], he writes about how the Chinese’ military wants to outperform the Americans. He also gives the following extract from the book Chinese Dream, written by a Chinese colonel:

“In the next 10-20 years China will not escape from any war. Because China is surrounded by enemy countries that have connections with the US, Washington might ’set on fire’ the back gates of China. In this case China can set on fire the backyard of the US, as well.”

Ertai’s next post [KAZ], entitled, “China’s weaponless invasion,” is about Chinese cultural expansion. He writes:

“In recent years, the number of young people from Central Asia who have come to learn the Chinese language and culture has remarkably increased. According to information by the regional Department of Education, the number of foreign students is about 3.2 thousand. Currently in the states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, new Confucian institutes, Chinese language courses, and special centers are being opened.”

The author also notes that in the last year Chinese and Kazahstani officials have met five times. So, the more Kazakhstan’s relations with China intensify, the more China’s influence on Kazakh society will become visible in the Kaznet. Everybody should stay tuned.

Also posted on neweurasia.

4 comments

  • Preetam Rai

    Nice post Askhat. I was just talking a few days back with some Kazak students here in South East Asia and we spoke about the influence of China. Would love to read more specifically if you can find something on Chinese businesses investing in Kazakhstan.

  • […] Kazakh bloggers see China’s “weaponless invasion” (Global Voices) […]

  • […] Kazakh bloggers see China’s “weaponless invasion” (Global Voices) […]

  • gie

    ‘weaponless invasion’ is the best strategy…When I went to UK, I was about to buy a souvenir item at the airport but when I turned it, it’s made in China! See? That’s why, buying an item in another country is more expensive than buying it here in my own country..the market is proliferated with goods – made in China. That is ‘weaponless’…inside your homes, look for items made in China – it’s affordable, that’s why..

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