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Kyrgyz Authorities Cancel Chinese Investment Project Amid Protests

AT-BASHI, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz authorities say they have canceled a Chinese investment project in the eastern part of Kyrgyzstan following mass protests against plans to construct a $275 million logistics center in the area.

Artur Baiterekov, head of Kyrgyzstan's Naryn Free Economic Zone, told RFE/RL late on February 17 that the deal with China has been rescinded.

The Kyrgyz-Chinese Ata-Bashi Free Economic Zone Joint Venture also said on February 17 that the contract has been annulled because "it is not possible to work on a long-term large project in the circumstances" when part of the local population opposes the construction of the logistics center.

Local residents have protested several times since January against the project, which had been agreed on by the Kyrgyz government and Chinese President Xi Jinping when the Chinese leader visited Kyrgyzstan in June 2019.

The latest demonstration against the project was staged earlier on February 17 near the village of At-Bashi.