The China Alternative – Kazakhstan

The China Alternative - KazakhstanThe China Alternative is our series on other manufacturing destinations in Asia that are now starting to compete with China in terms of labor costs, infrastructure and operational capacity. In this issue we look at Kazakhstan.

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Astana becomes home for events of international level and high importance

Astana becomes home for events of international level and high importanceAstana is a relatively new city, at least in the form of a capital. It was the city that had no difference with many others of the country. Nevertheless, in 1995 the city was designated as the future capital of the newly-independent country, and the capital was officially moved from Almaty on December 10, 1997. The new name, Astana, was bestowed in 1998.

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How to survive in the modern world: Kazakh diplomacy

Continuing and supplementing the previous chapter, this section also demonstrates how Kazakhstan has survived in the modern world. Kazakhstan officially uses the term “multi-vectored diplomacy”, which was first introduced in the mid 1990s. In fact, concealed beneath the term “multi-vectored” was a balancing of the different geopolitical centres of power that had exerted an influence on Kazakhstan and on Central Asia as a whole.

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The breath of history

Although Kazakhs were little known to the outside world until relatively recently, their name has been on European tongues at the very least since the 18th Century, albeit in distorted form. From Kazaks (or Kozaks in the “Ukrainianised” version) came the term Cossasks, the free-roaming warriors of the steppes, who spread terror with their warmongering. The Cossacks were then taken into the service of the Russian Empire and it is from here that they became known to the West. They spoke in a Russian dialect and professed Christianity.

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