Editor’s note for Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A note for Access newsletter readers from Jeremy Goldkorn. Today: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi have a phone call, in which China expresses support for Kazakhstan "in maintaining stability and curbing violence" after popular protests.

editor's note for Access newsletter

My thoughts today:

Kazakhstan has put a stop to popular protests, with military help from Russia and moral support from China.

The Chinese foreign ministry today released a readout of a phone call between Foreign Minister Wáng Yì 王毅 and Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi:

China is ready to firmly support Kazakhstan in maintaining stability and curbing violence at a critical moment when the future and destiny of Kazakhstan are at stake.

Wang Yi stressed that three days ago, President Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 sent a verbal message to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, publicly expressing support…China is willing to do its best to provide Kazakhstan with necessary support and assistance.

The Kzakkh, Russian, and Chinese governments share many points of unity, including the tendency to blame “foreign forces” for domestic troubles. In his phone call, Wang also said:

We will work together to prevent and oppose any attempts of “color revolutions”, and jointly oppose any interference and infiltration by external forces.

Our word of the day is closed-loop management (闭环管理 bìhuán guǎnlǐ). This is one way Beijing is talking about tight lockdown and infection management measures intended to keep the Winter Olympics, which begin on February 4, a COVID-free event.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief