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Kazakhstan Presses China On Problems Reported By Ethnic Kazakhs In Xinjiang

Ethnic Kazakhs herd their sheep amid a heavy snowfall in Yili, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
Ethnic Kazakhs herd their sheep amid a heavy snowfall in Yili, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry says it has held talks with Chinese officials regarding "frequent complaints by ethnic Kazakhs about problems they face in the People's Republic of China."

In its November 28 statement, the ministry said that Deputy Foreign Minister Aqylbek Kamaldinov and the Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, Zhang Hanhui, discussed the issue in Astana on November 27.

The same day, reported problems faced by ethnic Kazakhs in China were discussed by representatives of the consular services of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy, the statement said.

It said that Kazakh diplomats in Beijing had discussed the same issues with Chinese Foreign Ministry officials on November 9.

The statement also said that the issues concerning the Kazakh diaspora in China will be on the agenda of the Kazakh-Chinese talks during Kamaldinov's planned visit to Beijing in December.

In recent months, media reports in Kazakhstan and elsewhere quoted ethnic Kazakhs from China's northwestern province of Xinjiang as saying that they and their relatives have been under increased scrutiny and pressure imposed by the local government.

There are some 1.5 million ethnic Kazakhs living in Xinjiang.

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