China Evacuates Its Nationals From Kyrgyzstan

China has dispatched two airliners to evacuate some 200 Chinese students and nationals caught up in the unrest in Kyrgyzstan. Xinhua reported that the first one is expected to land back in Urumqi overnight. Two further flights are planned for tomorrow. There are no reports of Chinese nationals being among the more than 100 reported dead in the outbreak of ethnic violence, but some Chinese-owned businesses are reported to have been looted.

Unlike Russia, China appears to have no plans for a military response. The prospect of civil war in Kyrgyzstan poses dilemmas for both Beijing and Moscow. Neither wants to be dragged into a potentially messy, ethnic conflict. But neither would be happy with a prolonged period of instability or civil war, which could easily spill over into neighbouring stans such as Kazakhstan, or even into the outer fringes of Russia and China itself.

Beijing and Moscow have been jockeying for influence in the region in recent years. Beijing won’t be thrilled to see a small Russian dominated peace-keeping force under the aegis of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (the security pact between most of the former states of Soviet Central Asia) being deployed in Kyrgyzstan if the violence continues, but it may look upon it as the lesser of two evils, providing there is a fixed period to its deployment.


Filed under China-Central Asia

2 responses to “China Evacuates Its Nationals From Kyrgyzstan

  1. Pingback: Kyrgyzstan Airlift Continues « China Bystander

  2. Pingback: Kyrgyzstan Airlift Concluded « China Bystander

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