China is financing the construction of Kyrgyzstan’s first major oil refinery, and excitement is building in Bishkek that the facility could enable the Central Asian nation to break Russia’s fuel-supply monopoly.
A surge of economic nationalism is making life uncomfortable for Chinese companies working in Kyrgyzstan.
One morning last year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Dilnoza awoke to find her brand-new Toyota Corolla missing. She knew immediately whom to call, and it wasn’t her local police precinct.
When nationalist MP Kamchybek Tashiev led his supporters over a fence surrounding parliament in early October, both foreign and local executives working in Kyrgyzstan’s mining industry braced for the worst.
Legislation designed to discourage the controversial practice of bride kidnapping fizzled recently in Kyrgyzstan's parliament.
Among its Central Asian neighbours, China these days is more often feared than loved. This attitude is perhaps most apparent in Kyrgyzstan, where despite an overwhelming dependence on Chinese imports, Chinese-owned malls and mining pits have been the subject of attacks in recent years; nationalist editorials in the local press play on fears of the Middle Kingdom.