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515 China“s Ambition 1

The mine manager explained why Chinese companies had owned too much land around the area that was planned to be developed as a logistics base.

"China conducted a survey of Kazakhstan and Central Asia to develop their One Belt One Road project, but in fact, Chinese authorities had done a resource survey."

"Did Chinese engineers come to the mine too?"

"Our government didn't allow that."

"That's a good thing."

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"If the logistics base hadn't been canceled, Chinese companies would've drilled into the mines from other areas."

"How do you know that?"

"There is a high probability of getting gold if you drilled from anywhere in this area. I think China was after that."

It was unclear whether China aimed at it, but there was no possibility of it.
If China's insistence on building the logistics base near Almaty was ultimately aimed at keeping an eye on the gold mine area, moving the logistics base to a different location was indeed a great decision.
Youngho did not like the fact that Chinese companies dominating the area, and he also could not allow the logistics base being built in the area because he wanted to preserve the outstanding natural scenery of Almaty. As a follow-up measure, he set the entire area as a protected nature zone. So the land bought by Chinese companies became obsolete. This was because no development could be done within the conservation zone.

"Now that the Chinese have left, you don't have to keep the area so secure. If we restrict outsiders from entering the mining village, it will isolate the village, and this will cause inconvenience for the residents."

"Of course you're right Your Highness, but it's also a problem for anyone to get in and out of the royal estate. Why don't you set up a checkpoint at the entrance to keep outsiders away?"

"Wouldn't the residents be uncomfortable to have a checkpoint?"

"They can endure such inconvenience because their pride of living at a royal estate is great. They'll rather like to have their village secure like that."

"Then I'd better consider setting up a checkpoint, then."

"It's a guess, but Chinese companies would have been looking to take resources in different regions too. You should take a closer look around every place where Chinese companies are gathered."

"If you hadn't told me, I would've had no idea. Thank you, manager."

Youngho had only thought that Chinese business people were speculating land but had not thought that they were planning to steal resources even though he had witnessed it before at the Siberian logging site. It was great that the mine manager cautiously made a suggestion to him.
The illegal activities of Chinese companies should be prevented.
Youngho had felt this many times, but China's desire for resources was great. Watching the illegal collection of diamonds at the Siberian forest was one thing. It was quite weird because most of the world's known mines were buried in China. Currently, the amount of Chinese reserves of major minerals such as coal, iron, copper, and aluminum all ranked first and second in the world. Especially, China was strengthening the monopoly of rare minerals such as rare earths—which had recently gained global popularity, to influence other countries' economies.


"Mr. Prime Minister, it could be seen as a crackdown on Chinese companies."

"But we have no choice but to visit each Chinese company and take a complete enumeration survey. Any region that Chinese companies entered, they had excessively purchased land around it. As the mine manager pointed out, something stinks."

Kazakhstan was unable to centrally verify both the land owners and the land transactions because it had yet to be computerized.
It can be only verified by looking at the relevant documents in each local administrative office. With the help of the South Korean government, administrative network work was being computerized quickly, but it was still too far from computerizing all the properties in the remote areas.

"But you should do it as secretive as possible. We need a lot of evidence to confront the Chinese government."

"What would you do if we found illegal activities from the Chinese companies?"

"We will decide to order the confiscation of property according to the Chinese government's attitude toward this issue."

"This will become a diplomatic issue, then."

"This will be different from One Belt One Road business. Still, there won't be many reasons for China to pressure us."

"In order to save Kazakh companies, Chinese companies must be driven out from here. Let's diversify our import lines at this opportunity even if we buy daily necessities or manufactured goods at a little higher price. The Greek shipping company will soon be in our hands, so we can afford Indian or Southeast Asian products. Please investigate thoroughly and find out illegal activities."

"We need to nurture basic necessities business in Kazakhstan so we can be self-sufficient."

"We can take over the empty spots when Chinese companies leave. We can adopt European technology and to have advance businesses. We are not in a position to directly help Uyghur's independence, but once the bubble in China's economy is lifted, China will be forced to take the path of falling. Then Uyghurs will be the first people to claim independence among other minorities that belong to China."

Opportunities only came to people who waited patiently. Fighting against China with Kazakhstan's capabilities now was like hitting a rock with an egg.
Right now, Kazakhstan needed to build up its strength by accepting Uyghurs. When China faced an economic crisis, it would be the first opportunity to deal with China.

"I thought you were determined to take risks to solve the Uyghur crisis."

"At first, I had such a reckless idea. But the U.S. government has stopped me, saying that China will never let go of Xinjiang Uyghur."

"That's highly possible since we've got Kyrgyzstan in our hands. China would feel pressured because of that."

"China is very wary of us, although we are still weak, we're looking at China too softly."

"It's probably because there's a lot of ethnic superiority involved. Kazakh people are proud to be the descendant of Genghis Khan."

"With that kind of pride, we should be prepared to go beyond China. Kazakh people should change their minds. The old socialist practices must be reformed."

No matter how hard the royal family and the new government tried, Kazakhstan could not beat China unless the people's mindset changed. The whole atmosphere of society had changed a lot, but people still had a long way to go.
It seemed that they needed a national enlightenment campaign.

"Your Highness, I think we need to introduce a socialistic style."

"What are you going to use socialism for?"

"Let's force our people into enlightenment. We'll never get to civic awareness naturally. The only way to instill an advanced sense of citizenship is through a forced way. It's most effective to introduce a temporary law and enforce it strongly."

"If we do that in a democratic country, other countries will point fingers at us. They will say that the current regime is the same as the former one."

"If only the royal family pretends that it doesn't know about it, I will push it with the government and take the blame. We needed to freshen up the atmosphere because of the Xinjiang Uyghur crisis, so this is the perfect time to do it."

"Should we really do that?"

"It's also a good opportunity."

Kasim wanted to take advantage of the situation where the Uyghurs were fleeing from the persecution of China.
The new administration had removed all kinds of regulations and gave more freedom to people, but the public free will had gone too far in some areas because of the lack of civic awareness in Kazakhstan. Kasim believed that strong regulation and forced enlightenment would work better for people.


Richard, the U.S. State Department's assistant secretary of state for Europe, visited the Arirang royal territory.
It was a visit to pressure the Chinese government in a roundabout way, as the Xinjiang Uyghur situation was worsening.
Since the U.S. government was not in a position to openly criticize the Chinese government, visiting a neighboring country was a quiet protest to China.
It was the wheat harvest season, so Youngho was out in the field to direct the harvesting process. Richard was quite surprised to look around the farmland and industrial facilities of the Arirang state. It was because as far as remembered, West Kazakhstan was a semi-deserted zone that only produced dust.

"You've made a wilderness into rich soil."

"The residents of Arirang worked hard for this."

"Are you also giving a hand in the harvest?"

"All people including the royal family have been helping during the harvest season. This is the only chance for me to work with the residents, so I'm grateful for this."

"I think the future of Kazakhstan will be bright because it has a great leader."

"Thank you for your compliment."

"A country where leaders take the initiative is bound to develop. As expected, I've chosen a great person to ask a favor."

"That makes me nervous."

"Hahaha, don't be burdened at all."

Youngho could feel a certain passion in Richard's eyes looking at the field.

"Your Highness. Didn't Michael talk about me?"

"The director of the CIA wouldn't be involved in State Department affairs, so there's no reason to mention you. It's a very different area of work."

"He gave me a hard time for giving you a burden. I guess he wondered why the State Department suddenly turned to Kazakhstan's side. Our department has pushed sending military supplies to Kazakhstan this time."

"Have you known Michael before?"

"Yes, I know him well, so Michael gently pressed me to help you."

"Does he know that you're a Georgian descent?"

"America is an immigrant country, so there's no need to hide my root."

Michael had guessed that Richard would have mentioned the Georgia issue to Youngho. When Richard asked Youngho to help Georgia, Youngho was perplexed since it did not make sense that the assistant secretary of the US State Department had asked such a personal favor to him, but now he could see why. It was because Michael had told Richard about Youngho before.

"Minister, I can't thank you enough for approving to send military supplies to Kazakhstan. How can I repay this kindness?"

"There's nothing to be thankful for. It was a decision for the national interest of the United States."

"But it's going to be a tremendous boost for Kazakh military."

"I'm sure this will be in the interest of the United States. Kazakhstan is the only country that can stop China from advancing. American officials and politicians agree with that too. If the U.S. moves, this could be expanded into a world war."

The U.S. had decided that it was better to support Kazakhstan fighting against China instead of directly involving in the conflict. This was because the U.S. would only need to supply weapons without sending troops.

"I see. By the way, how do you know the head director of the CIA?"

"We served in the military together."

Now Youngho could see it straight. Richard and Michael had a closer relationship than he thought.

"Did Michael not tell you about me?"

"I heard you were a good man. He bragged that you and him were more than a friend, but a family. He also said that you're the last humanist remaining in the political world. That's why I asked you to do a difficult favor. If Michael finds out about that, he'll try to kill me."

"Then I'll have to keep my mouth shut."

"If you want to see me alive, please do so."