U.S. and Chinese NGOs in Central Asia

США и антикитайские НПО в Центральной Азии

Now coming to the final us-China trade war. The parties went to study “peace” agreements and the time to walk through the fields of her battles that took place in Central Asia. It is logical that during the 2019 one of the key objectives for the United States was the highest pressure on Beijing in all possible directions. Including through partners of China in Central Asia: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. An important weapon in the battle has become regional NGOs, under the control of Washington.

The work included the formation of a negative image of China through the winding “Xinjiang problem” of ethnic minorities, and promotion of the traditional threat of Chinese expansion in neighboring States. Stress that I do not intend to defend or to condemn Chinese policy. In this study it is only the background for action information campaigns, methods and efficiency which we are trying to assess.

In the framework of the anti-Chinese campaign, it is possible to allocate three directions which were implemented through non-governmental organizations: the pressure information through the media, public events and direct speech, including violence and unrest . We’ll talk about each of them.

Black PR

In any information campaign plays a key role in the press. It attracts the audience’s attention to the most pressing themes: the impact of China on the region’s economy, the situation of the Uighurs and other national minorities in Xinjiang.

Primary anti-Chinese content is most often placed directly by the Western press in the region: “Azattyk” (the branches of “Radio Liberty”, USA) and “the Present time” (subsidiary of “Freedom”). To a lesser extent involved in the work of the “Institute of war and peace” (UK) and “Eurasia.no” (“Soros Fund”).

Further content is distributed via the regional media, because the US is investing large sums in funding for Central Asian media. In Kyrgyzstan, through USAID for these purposes allocated $ 5 million, the project operator NGO Internews, recipients sites “Kloop”, “Cactus media” and other media. In 2018, the American Agency has announced the opening of additional grant programs for working with the media throughout Central Asia in the amount of $ 15 million, the details of which were not disclosed.

One way or another, but for 2019 disproportionately increased the number of negative publicity about China in the media. For example, the above-mentioned “Cactus media” the most intensively addressed the subject of China during January-February of 2019. During this period, 62% of the publications had been negative, 51%(!) dedicated to anti-China demonstrations in Bishkek. The share of positive and neutral news related to China, about 7%.

The “Kloop” of the same nature of news feed continues throughout the year. 48% of the publications on China and Chinese policy contained negative information, 39% are devoted to criticism of the situation of small peoples in Xinjiang and the anti-Chinese campaigns in Kyrgyzstan. Share positive events and news hooks in the sample is 8%.

And despite the huge interest of journalists to the local events in Xinjiang, news of other regions of China, especially associated with the economy and space program, almost no coverage.

NGO speakers

In Kazakhstan a major role in shaping the media picture around China played NGOs. For example, a significant role in the promotion of the “Xinjiang question” played “international legal initiative” (the”Soros Foundation” and “FreedomHouse”) and “ATA Jurt Erektiler”.

Both organizations are in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the press conference and action, criticizing the internal politics of China and accuse Beijing of suppressing the ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. However, ethnic organizations believe that this activity does not benefit the compatriots in China, but is creating “more noise than works.” But these NGOs have great support from the outside.

“ATA Jurt” is a very long-standing project aimed at the promotion of Xinjiang subjects supported by Washington. The work of this NGO monitors personally, Alice wells, assistant Secretary of state for South and Central Asia. Registration of the organization in Kazakhstan were made directly to the U.S. Embassy. The representative and advocate of this NGO Aiman Umarov – has long enjoyed the financial support of the American Embassy, and 2018, received a prestigious American award from the hands of Melania trump.

Also with the “ATA Jurt” and MPI has partnered a US citizen gene Bunin, specializing in the problems of the Uighurs and leading the information campaign against China and raising funds for projects in the region. He also traveled to Bishkek, where he helped create the “Committee to protect the Chinese Kyrgyz”.

Work in Kyrgyzstan and led a local NGO. Media expert Evgenia Mikhaylova noted it in his recent study of anti-Chinese campaign “to Publicly criticize China people associated with organizations in Kyrgyzstan that receive financial support from the United States and several European Union countries, including the UK”.

Specific examples you can remember Edil Bykova at that time the head of the NGO “For democracy and civil rights” (USAID and the “Soros Foundation”), which is called the official Bishkek to the actual imposition of sanctions against China in connection with the situation in Xinjiang.

Soon Baslow joined the diplomatic service, so could not understand the absurdity of their proposals from the standpoint of the interests of Kyrgyzstan. However, made with them.

Anti-China speech

A powerful information campaign was accompanied by large demonstrations against China in the region, which the organizers tried to depersonalise and to provide “natural”.

However, in Kazakhstan statements September 2019, for example, it can be seen the role of the “Coalition of civil initiatives” recognizing the arrest of 50 of their activists during unauthorized rallies. It is known that in this movement include “Oyan, Kazakhstan”, “For the reform of the interior Ministry” and other group of participants of anti-government unrest in Kazakhstan, which was openly led by representatives of the Pro-American NGOs.

In Kyrgyzstan, the relationship is less obvious. For example, the performances of December-January 2018/19 year in Bishkek was formally a nationalist group “cork Choro”. However, the curious Kyrgyz reporters learned that during performances from Almaty to Bishkek has arrived the above-mentioned us expert Jin Bunin. And it turned out that he enters the circle of contacts of spas’ka Gatzinski, the notorious head of the Eurasian management “National endowment for Democracy” (NED) of the USA whose secret meetings with representatives of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz opposition gave rise to the so-called “Gaczynska gate”.

A surprisingly small world. With the riots was linked another person involved in the same scandal Adil Turdukulov, well-known oppositional politician and representatives of the NGO community. It about the course of anti-China rally in Bishkek was informed by phone by the organizers, and he later said to the press about their detention.

Asked by journalists about the reason of such intensive contacts Turdukulov, apparently, some confusion, said that detainees he intends “to defend in court.” However, in his official biography we failed to find any trace of a legal education or law license.

Relations with NGOs are viewed in the riots in Solton-Sary, which injured about 20 people, mostly Chinese workers of the local gold mine. Then the authorities declared that the participation in the conflict unknown persons not from the local residents and the beginning of the investigation.

However, against the search of the perpetrators of mass collisions emotionally acted as publicist, Eleri of Bititci (real name Nsikak Kadyrbaev), who called the announcement of the investigation, “a call for repression against its own people”. Fright it’s hard to explain, if he is in no way affiliated with this story.

The same man known to those in 2016, 2017.. played a key role in the campaign in honor of the anniversary of Zhetysu uprising of 1916, which was used for anti-Russian propaganda and allegations of Moscow’s “neo-colonialism”. Activities Kadyrbaeva had the support of the NGO “aigine”, created and supported by the “Soros Foundation” in Kyrgyzstan. It is impossible to exclude that the cooperation continues today, albeit on other issues.

All the events in Solton-Sary raise many questions. In particular, the investigating authorities revealed that the clashes in Koi-Tash, in provoking the media and accused the participants of “Gaczynska-gate” was by the same people that in the clashes at a gold mine.

Some publications speak about the proven connection of events, but in our opinion the situation requires investigation, the version of a “foreign trace”.

The results of the campaign

The Pro-American NGOs in the region have managed to create a strong enough background information. Particularly effective was the work of “ATA Jurt” with the participation of Umarova and Bunin, related to the use of emigrants from Xinjiang who are in need of support in a new place and willingly told an emotional and frightening stories about life at home.

The work was facilitated sinophobia, which is characteristic for Central Asia, especially after the story of the transfer to Tajikistan of some territories of China.

The victims were investment projects of China in the region, including the opening of a group of Chinese companies in Kazakhstan, which was cancelled amid heating up of the passions. Now the background information is trying to use to disrupt the project “Safe city” in the Nur-Sultan and Almaty, which involved Chinese contractors. The introduction of new technologies, critics tend to associate with the methods of police control. However, to achieve wider political implications was not possible. Here played the role of strong economic ties of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan with China, and a strategic error. Attempt to use the same individuals and structures in anti-Chinese and anti-government campaign led to the discrediting of both beginnings as well as the personalities. That, in fact, well illustrated by Turdukulova or leaders “Oan Kazakhstan”.

However, the careers of most of these individuals have survived the hype, and seems itself a trade war between the US and China. Ayman Umarov, who collaborated with the “ATA Jurt” and received U.S. support for their own projects – joined the public Council under the President of Kazakhstan. Baisalov – became Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan in the UK. Adil Turdukulov was interrogated on charges of rioting but was not arrested. After the arrest of former President Atambaev he was one of the actual leaders of the opposition social democratic party and has received substantial political influence.

Whose interests will defend these people to the new posts? Not whether they will give lobbyists the American interests in Chinese or something else in question?

We can only observe and draw conclusions.

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