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15 Apr 2022


Kazakhstan: Labor unrest troubles another Chinese project

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15 April 2022

…[A]lmost 100 workers building a road between two settlements in Kazakhstan’s southern Zhambyl region downed their tools.

They were dissatisfied with salaries paid out by the Chinese subcontractor: between $130 and $260 per month for 10-hour workdays, they said.

They also accused the company, a subsidiary of China Xinxing Construction & Development Co., of failing to provide them with appropriate work clothes.

The company has so far refused to meet their demands.

In an April 12 interview with the Atameken business channel, the Chinese chief engineer for the project said that the company could not raise wages as the costs of materials had soared in recent years, turning the project into a loss-maker. He added that he expected the problem related to clothing to be solved in the coming days.


Worker unrest has been rippling across Kazakhstan in recent months, the latest cause for Chinese investors to reconsider ventures in the country.

The coronavirus choked cross-border trade and slowed or scuppered several pre-agreed projects. January brought the biggest and bloodiest bout of political instability in Kazakhstan’s modern history. Popular opposition to Chinese investments has fomented several political protests since 2016, and bubbled under the surface of many others.