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Cablegate: Maxim Bakiyev's Debut On the International

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000086

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL KG
SUBJECT: MAXIM BAKIYEV'S DEBUT ON THE INTERNATIONAL
DIPLOMATIC SCENE

REF: BISHKEK 0010

Classified By: Amb. Tatiana Gfoeller, Reason 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Summary: Maxim Bakiyev made his international debut
leading an official delegation to China. He returned home
triumphant, at least at first glance, with several signed
agreements, including one on Chinese financing for the
construction of a trans-Kyrgyzstan power transmission line.
However, upon examining the agreements more closely, the
Kyrgyz Government may be finding that few of the agreements
are in fact binding, and that Bakiyev's first diplomatic
foray falls short of an unqualified success. End Summary.

International Debut
-------------------

2. (C) Maxim Bakiyev, as the Head of the Central Agency for
Development, Innovation and Investment, led his first
official delegation to China on January 11-13. The
delegation included State Minister for Foreign Affairs
Kadyrbek Sarbayev, the Ministers of Finance and Energy, and
the CEOs of Dastan, a military equipment manufacturer, and
Kyrgyz Agrocorporation. The Kyrgyz' Chinese interlocutors
included the Vice Premier of the China State Council, the
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Minister of
Commerce, the Railways Minister and a number of banking and
economic officials.

A Good Visit
------------

3. (C) Discussions between the Kyrgyz delegation and Chinese
officials focused on several large infrastructure projects,
including the construction of a rail line connecting China,
Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and the modernization of the
Bishkek Combined Heat and Power Plant. Of greatest
significance was the signing of an agreement by the heads of
the National Electric Grid of Kyrgyzstan and the Chinese
Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co. to construct a 500 kW
power transmission line from Datka in the south of Kyrgyzstan
to Kemin in the north, with an associated substation in
Datka. The project, which is estimated at $342 million,
would be funded in part by two separate loans from the
Chinese side, the details of which were not released.

4. (C) In addition, Kyrgyzstan and China discussed
cooperation in the mining sector and urban development, as
well as the creation of two agricultural facilities in
Kyrgyzstan that would make use of China,s knowledge of food
exportation procedures. The two sides reportedly also agreed
to hold a bilateral gathering later in 2010 to discuss
economic initiatives. The Kyrgyz delegation made progress in
establishing a memorandum of cooperation with the Shanghai
Stock Exchange that would allow Kyrgyz companies to
participate in the Chinese exchange, and would contribute to
the growth of the Kyrgyz stock market. Finally, the two
sides reached an agreement on interagency cooperation between
Kyrgyzstan,s Economic Development Fund and the Chinese
Development Bank.

5. (C) In meetings with Ambassador and DCM, Sarbayev and
Maxim Bakiyev both expressed great satisfaction with the
results of the visit, strongly emphasizing the importance of
Chinese financing for infrastructure development in
Kyrgyzstan.

But Maybe Not All That Good
---------------------------

6. (C) While pro-government media coverage has been positive
in Kyrgyzstan, the visit apparently drew little media
coverage in China, leading some members of the press to
speculate that the trip was of minimal significance to the

BISHKEK 00000086 002 OF 002


Chinese side. Similarly, French Charge to Kyrgyzstan
Jean-Pierre Godart, and separately the German Ambassador,
Holger Green, suggested to the Ambassador that neither side
was particularly pleased with the results of the visit.
According to Godart, the Chinese side found Bakiyev to be
inexperienced, and privately made disparaging comments
regarding the quality of the Kyrgyz delegation. Further,
given his heading of the delegation and the lack of a
comparable Chinese official, the Chinese were reluctant to
schedule meetings with ministry heads, instead settling on
deputy ministers. On the Kyrgyz side, Godart informed the
Ambassador that there was now concern that the agreements
Bakiyev brought home may not be binding, thus calling into
question the success of the visit.

7. (C) Green (who has served several tours in China, speaks
excellent Chinese, and is on warm terms with the resident
Chinese Ambassador here) told the Ambassador that the Chinese
felt insulted by the "nepotism of sending a dictator,s son
to negotiate state-to-state agreements. It is not in their
traditional culture and not in their Communist Party
culture." As a result of being thus "held hostage" to Maxim
Bakiyev, and despite his extensive knowledge of all things
Chinese, Sarbayev ended up not meeting with his Chinese
counterpart.
GFOELLER

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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