“Oh fuck off MI6… you’re pathetic. You did this to yourself.
Langley (and friends)… let’s fuck up Kazakhstan! 😀
- Russia’s closest ally, ex Soviet block… do you think a former Stalinist Communist leader just suddenly becomes pro-Western capitalist overnight?
- China and the New Silk Road. You want to put a halt on the new trade route… start in Kazakhstan.
- Largest landlocked country in the world… oil, gas and resources, all the usual shit you boys like to drink (Uranium). Largest GDP in Central Asia (half)
- Iran! (even Syria)… taken a strategic interest in the region. It’s an ally and trading partner (militarily, intelligence, as well as economically)
- JUST LOOK AT WHERE IT IS! Slap bang in the middle of Central Asia, between Russia, China and Iran!
I know I’m not the only one! 😉
Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev resigns amid mounting political crisis
By David Levine and Clara Weiss
30 March 2019
In a sign of growing social and political turmoil in Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s 78-year-old president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been head of state of the country since its formation out of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, announced his immediate resignation on Tuesday, March 19. Kazakhstan is of enormous geostrategic and economic significance. It is the largest country in Central Asia and generates well over half of the region’s GDP.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who had been chairman of the Kazakhstan Senate, the upper house of parliament, was sworn in as president of Kazakhstan on March 20. He is to remain in office until new elections are held next year.
Nazarbayev was for decades a high-ranking functionary of the Stalinist bureaucracy and played a central role in the restoration of capitalism in Kazakhstan, which threw millions into poverty and impelled millions more to emigrate. Among the positions he held were president of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (1990–1991), secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan (1979–1984), deputy of the Soviet of the Union of the USSR (1979–1989) and first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan (1989–1991).
Nazarbayev’s authoritarian regime has been characterized by extreme social inequality, nepotism, corruption and the violent suppression of political and social opposition, involving a rigorous regime of political censorship, as well as a language policy discriminating against non-Kazakh people who previously comprised the majority of the country’s population. The Kazakh economy has grown significantly, especially since 2000, largely based on the extraction of the country’s vast precious mineral and oil resources. When oil workers in Zhanaozen went on a militant strike in late 2011, Nazarbayev oversaw a police massacre of the striking workers, with 11 killed and many more wounded.
In his March 19 announcement, Nazarbayev made clear that he plans to remain a key player in Kazakhstan’s politics. Nazarbayev will remain the most powerful person in the country for the rest of his life and oversee the process of a reshuffling of power relationships among Kazakhstan’s elites.
A 2010 law established Nazarbayev’s special status as Yelbasy, “Leader of the Nation” and bestowed upon him the title Halyq Qaharmany, “Hero of the People.” Nazarbayev enjoys lifetime immunity from criminal prosecution. The secrecy and inviolability of his own assets and wealth, as well as those of the family members living with him, are guaranteed.
Nazarbayev retains his special status as Yelbasy, and will remain chairman of the Security Council, chairman of the Nur-Otan Party, and a member of the Constitutional Council. He will also remain chairman of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan and chairman of the Managing Council of the Samruk Kazyna sovereign wealth fund. The latter company, owned by the state, is the sole or majority shareholder of the national railroad company, the KazMunayGas oil company, the airline Air Astana, and a long list of other key industrial enterprises.
Nazarbayev will thus have veto power over any and all decisions of government, including the power unilaterally to issue decrees with the effect of law, and has special powers that will effectively allow him to make key national economic policy decisions directly, without approval from the government.
In his inaugural address on March 20, Tokayev, the new president, proposed that the Kazakhstan capital city of Astana be renamed as Nur-Sultan in honor of Nazarbayev. The proposal was quickly adopted by the parliament as well as the city council. The central street in Almaty (Alma-Ata), Kazakhstan’s largest city, had already been renamed in Nazarbayev’s honor in 2017. When protests against the decision occurred several days later, the police arrested numerous demonstrators.
Also on March 20, the Senate elected Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, to take over Tokayev’s position as chairperson. Nazarbayeva, born in 1963, has had parallel careers in both politics and business and had an estimated wealth of $595 million as of 2013. Political commentators have suggested her as the most likely successor to take the presidency after the 2020 election.
Nazarbayev did not name a specific reason for his sudden and somewhat unexpected resignation. His health condition is mostly a matter of secrecy, but it is known that he underwent prostate surgery in Germany in 2011. His government has been rocked by crisis recently, with Nazarbayev dismissing all members of his administration on February 21.
Definite political and social conditions point to the broader concerns that underlie the political crisis in Astana and the decision of Nazarbayev to initiate the process of “transitioning” to another president.
First, the country’s ruling class, recruited to a high degree from the former Stalinist bureaucracy, is highly sensitive to the international resurgence of working-class struggles throughout the globe, including in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. Kazakhstan, in particular, has seen a series of strikes and protests over the past few years and in recent months.
Social anger also recently erupted after a fire in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) on February 4 killed five children while their parents were at work. The family had been living in a temporary building heated by an electric heater and a stove. While official public mourning events were held in multiple cities, protests occurred in Astana involving public statements by women with multiple children.
Urzada Uaisova, an Astana resident and mother of six children, was quoted by news agency Interfax.by as saying, “I have been standing in line [for housing] since 2007. Twelve years have passed, and they haven’t given us anything yet. They have made some promises, but we just keep getting fooled. Each month, I pay 50,000 tenge (about US$130) for my housing, and there are costs for coal to heat the home. Why doesn’t the state give subsidies for the mothers of multiple children? If they would just let us rent an apartment for 50,000 tenge, we would be happy to pay that if we could later take ownership of the apartment.”
Videos of the statements of Uaisova and other women have been viewed on YouTube hundreds of thousands of times—very significant numbers for a country of just 18 million people and far exceeding the number of views of all the videos containing Nazarbayev’s own statement on the event. Later in February, protests took place in several cities demanding the creation of jobs, support for mothers with multiple children, and the resignation of Nazarbayev.
Second, Kazakhstan is engulfed in the crisis generated by the escalating war preparations of US imperialism against Russia and China. The country maintains significant and growing economic ties with China and has long-standing relations with Moscow. China buys about 25 percent of Kazakhstan’s oil output and Kazakhstan is the important country for the land route of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), which is seen by US imperialism as a major geostrategic challenge.
The Carnegie Endowment for Peace and Democracy, an important think tank of US imperialism, noted with concern in May 2018 that “[a]s part of its Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing is rapidly investing in east-west infrastructure projects across the Central Asian republic that have overshadowed previously launched programs backed by the US and Russia. … From Beijing’s point of view, Kazakhstan, where the BRI was first announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is a critical element of its fast-growing drive for international influence. It sits in a strategic spot between China and Russia and is far away from potential competing powers including the US and the EU.” The article noted that the only way for Astana to counteract Chinese influence was to seek closer cooperation with Russia, but above all the EU.
Why the New Silk Roads Terrify Washington
Posted on October 13, 2016
by Eurasia News Online
By Pepe Escobar
Global Research, October 12, 2016
RT News 7 October 2016
The original source of this article is RT News
Copyright © Pepe Escobar, RT News, 2016
Almost six years ago, President Putin proposed to Germany ‘the creation of a harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.’
This idea represented an immense trade emporium uniting Russia and the EU, or, in Putin’s words, “a unified continental market with a capacity worth trillions of dollars.”
In a nutshell: Eurasia integration.
Washington panicked. The record shows how Putin’s vision – although extremely seductive to German industrialists – was eventually derailed by Washington’s controlled demolition of Ukraine.
Three years ago, in Kazakhstan and then Indonesia, President Xi Jinping expanded on Putin’s vision, proposing One Belt, One Road (OBOR), a.k.a. the New Silk Roads, enhancing the geoeconomic integration of Asia-Pacific via a vast network of highways, high-speed rail, pipelines, ports and fiber-optic cables.
In a nutshell: an even more ambitious version of Eurasia integration, benefiting two-thirds of the world population, economy and trade. The difference is that it now comes with immense financial muscle backing it up, via a Silk Road Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB), and an all-out commercial offensive all across Eurasia, and the official entry of the yuan in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights; that is, the christening of the yuan as a key currency worth holding by every single emerging market central bank.
At the recent G20 in Huangzhou, President Xi clearly demonstrated how OBOR is absolutely central to the Chinese vision of how globalization should proceed. Beijing is betting that the overwhelming majority of nations across Eurasia would rather invest in, and profit from, a “win-win” economic development project than be bogged down in a lose-lose strategic game between the US and China.
And that, for the Empire of Chaos, is absolute anathema. How to possibly accept that China is winning the 21st century / New Great Game in Eurasia by building the New Silk Roads?
And don’t forget the Silk Road in Syria
Few in the West have noticed, as reported by RT, that the G20 was preceded by an Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Essentially, that was yet another de facto celebration of Eurasia integration, featuring Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.
And that integration plank will soon merge with the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union – which in itself is a sort of Russian New Silk Road.
All these roads lead to total connectivity. Take for instance cargo trains that are now regularly linking Guangzhou, the key hub in southeast China, to the logistics center in Vorsino industrial park near Kaluga. The trip now takes just two weeks – saving no less than a full month if compared with shipping, and around 80 percent of the cost if compared with air cargo.
That’s yet another New Silk Road-style connection between China and Europe via Russia. Still another, vastly more ambitious, will be the high-speed rail expansion of the Transiberian; the Siberian Silk Road.
Then take the closer integration of China and Kazakhstan – which is also a member of the EEU. The duty-free Trans-Eurasia railway is already in effect, from Chongqing in Sichuan across Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland all the way to Duisburg in Germany. Beijing and Astana are developing a joint free trade zone at Horgos. And in parallel, a $135 million China-Mongolia Cross-Border Economic Cooperation Zone started to be built last month.
Kazakhstan is even flirting with the ambitious idea of a Eurasian Canal from the Caspian to the Black Sea and then further on to the Mediterranean. Sooner or later Chinese construction companies will come up with a feasibility study.
A virtually invisible Washington agenda in Syria – inbuilt in the Pentagon obsession to not allow any ceasefire to work, or to prevent the fall of its “moderate rebels” in Aleppo – is to break up yet another New Silk Road hub. China has been commercially connected to Syria since the original Silk Road, which snaked through Palmyra and Damascus. Before the Syrian “Arab Spring”, Syrian businessmen were a vital presence in Yiwu, south of Shanghai, the largest wholesale center for small-sized consumer goods in the world, where they would go to buy all sorts of products in bulk to resell in the Levant.
The “American lake”
Neocon/neoliberalcon Washington is totally paralyzed in terms of formulating a response – or at least a counter-proposal – to Eurasia integration. A few solid IQs at least may understand that China’s “threat” to the US is all about economic might. Take Washington’s deep hostility towards the China-driven AIIB (Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank). Yet no amount of hardcore US lobbying prevented allies such as Germany, Britain, Australia and South Korea from joining in.
Then we had the mad dash to approve TPP – the China-excluding, NATO-on-trade arm of the pivot to Asia that was meant to be the cherry of the mostly flat Obama global economic policy cake. Yet the TPP as it stands is practically dead.
What the current geopolitical juncture spells out is the US Navy willing to go no holds barred to stop China from strategically dominating the Pacific, while TPP is deployed as a weapon to stop China dominating Asia-Pacific economically.
With the pivot to Asia configured as a tool to “deter Chinese aggression”, exceptionalists have graphically demonstrated how they are incapable of admitting the whole game is about post-ideological supply chain geopolitics. The US does not need to contain China; what it needs, badly, is key industrial, financial, commercial connection to crucial nodes across Asia to (re)build its economy.
Those were the days, in March 1949, when MacArthur could gloat, “the Pacific is now an Anglo-Saxon lake”. Even after the end of the Cold War the Pacific was a de facto American lake; the US violated Chinese naval and aerial space at will.
Now instead we have the US Army War College and the whole Think Tankland losing sleep over sophisticated Chinese missiles capable of denying US Navy access to the South China Sea. An American lake? No more.
The heart of the matter is that China has made an outstanding bet on infrastructure building – which translates into first-class connectivity to everyone – as the real global 21st century commons, way more important than “security”. After all a large part of global infrastructure still needs to be built. While China turbo-charges its role as the top global infrastructure exporter – from high-speed rail to low-cost telecom – the “indispensable” nation is stuck with a “pivoting”, perplexed, bloated military obsessed with containment.
Divide and rule those “hostile” rivals
Well, things haven’t changed much since Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski dreaming in the late 1990s of a Chinese fragmentation from within, all the way to Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy, which is no more than futile rhetorical nostalgia about containing Russia, China and Iran.
Thus the basket of attached myths such as “freedom of navigation” – Washington’s euphemism for perennially controlling the sea lanes that constitute China’s supply chain – as well as an apotheosis of “China aggression” incessantly merging with “Russia aggression”;after all, the Eurasia integration-driven Beijing-Moscow strategic partnership must be severed at all costs.
Why? Because US global hegemony must always be perceived as an irremovable force of nature, like death and taxes (Apple in Ireland excluded).
Twenty-four years after the Pentagon’s Defense Planning Guide, the same mindset prevails; “Our first objective is to prevent the reemergence of a new rival…to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union and southwest Asia”.
Oops. Now even Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski is terrified. How to contain these bloody silky roads with Pentagon “existential threats” China and Russia right at the heart of the action? Divide and Rule – what else?
For a confused Brzezinski, the US should
“fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China.”
Have a pleasant nightmare.
The original source of this article is RT News
Copyright © Pepe Escobar, RT News, 2016