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International relations

Kyrgyzstan grows wary of China amid corruption probe

New president repairs links with neighbors after debts to Beijing soar

Sooronbai Jeenbekov and Li Keqiang
Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, left, shakes hands with China's Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on June 7.    © Reuters

BISHKEK/TOKYO -- Kyrgyzstan is growing increasingly wary of China as details of a corruption case involving a project linked to Beijing are revealed. The country is heavily indebted to China and is now working to rebalance its diplomacy, moving closer to its neighbors.

The scandal,over a $386 million contract handed to a Chinese company in 2013, has led to the arrest of two former prime ministers, Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, pointing up hazards facing Beijing's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

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