Monday, June 14, 2010

Kyrgyz military to escort Chinese nationals to Osh airport

As the Kyrgyz military escorts the Chinese nationals out of Kyrgyzstan, perhaps it is time to re-read Dr Erickson's "International Rescue—China Looks After its Interests Abroad"
The fact is, without China's current economic influence, the overseas Chinese will not enjoy such a VIP treatment.

* Source: Xinhua
* [22:16 June 14 2010]

The Kyrgyz troops are ready to escort Chinese citizens to the airport in the country's southern city of Osh, said a Chinese official on Monday.

Liu Hong, deputy Chinese military attache with China's embassy in Kyrgyzstan, said in an interview with Xinhua that the military will use armored vehicles to escort Chinese citizens to Osh airport.

Yang Caiping, director of Chinese business association in southern Kyrgyzstan told Xinhua in a telephone conversation that about 500 Chinese nationals in Osh and Karasuu are planning to go home.

Chinese nationals in Osh will fly back to China on Monday and those in Karasuu will return home later, Yang added.

China on Monday dispatched a chartered plane to bring home Chinese nationals in Kyrgyzstan. The chartered plane left Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Monday evening and is expected to back at night, diplomatic resources said.

The violence in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad began last Thursday and escalated over the weekend, with the death toll rising to 124 and thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring Uzbekistan.

The interim government declared a curfew and an emergency state on early June 11 in the Osh region.

The Russian government declined a request by the interim regime to quell the unrest, but it sent a battalion of paratroopers Sunday to protect the facilities at a military base in northern Kyrgyzstan.

International Rescue—China Looks After its Interests Abroad

Journal Articles

Andrew S. Erickson, “International Rescue—China Looks After its Interests Abroad,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, China Watch, Vol. 21, No. 4 (April 2009), pp. 50-52.

China’s naval deployment to the Gulf of Aden in December 2008 is an indicator of the country’s growing willingness and ability to engage in overseas operations. Such missions are likely to increase in coming years, focusing on protecting commercial interests and civilians. However, a lack of military capabilities and desire to appear benign should deter any significant deployments of land forces for the foreseeable future.

With millions of Chinese citizens travelling and working around the globe and significant remittances being sent back every year, China is developing the capacity to protect its assets abroad. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) dispatched three naval vessels to support international counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden in December 2008. This muscular effort is the clearest sign so far that Beijing is growing in its willingness and capacity to deploy military assets overseas to protect Chinese citizens and commercial interests.

This trend is likely to continue. Given China’s need for natural resources to fuel its economic growth and the penetration of more stable markets by Western European and United States businesses, Chinese firms have begun operating in some of the least stable, resource-rich areas in the world, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. In these areas they have increasingly encountered physical security problems including crime, terrorism and the risk of being drawn into internal conflicts, which has increased domestic and commercial pressure on Beijing to protect its operations and personnel.

However, there are limits to what Beijing is willing to undertake in the current environment. China’s rhetorical reticence to intervene directly in the sovereign affairs of another state means it is unlikely to deploy significant land forces to another country. China also lacks rapidly deployable military assets to field in multiple crisis situations in a short period of time. Further, Beijing’s desire to avoid criticism of its foreign policy and international concerns over its rapid economic and military development should ensure that wherever possible it will work within international security frameworks or in collaboration with other militaries. Nonetheless, the probability of increasing Chinese deployments overseas and a growing willingness by Beijing to undertake civilian or military missions to protect its interests will concern competitors and potential rivals in Northeast Asia and beyond.

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