Multiple protests have been held across Kazakhstan between Sunday, September 1, and Wednesday, September 4, to denounce perceived negative Chinese influence in the country. On September 1-2, hundreds of protesters gathered in Zhanaozen to denounce the alleged construction of 55 Chinese plants, variously described as outdated and polluting. The protest movement spread to other cities on September 3-4, notably in the capital Nur-Sultan and in Almaty, as well as in other cities across the country including Aktau, Aktobe, Karaganda, and Shymkent.
Similar protests are possible in Kazakhstan over the coming days. Heightened security measures and localized transportation disruptions are likely around demonstration sites.
China is a major investor in Kazakhstan's energy sector and Kazakhstan's biggest trade partner. However, anti-Chinese sentiment has been rising over the last decade due to fear of corruption, Chinese influence, excessive reliance on Chinese investment, and accusation of Chinese companies of hiring few local staff.
In addition, China's "de-radicalization" campaign targeting Muslim minorities (including ethnic Kazakhs) in China's neighboring Xinjiang province has precipitated increased Kazakh antipathy toward China.
Individuals in Kazakhstan are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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