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I Go On Kazakh TV To Talk About China-Kazakh Relations

And cross a proverbial Rubicon.

Wade Shepard on Kazakh TV
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ASTORIA, NYC- I made another appearance on Kazakh TV a couple of weeks ago for a segment called “Is Kazakhstan China’s new territorial dispute? What are prospects of the Kazakh-Chinese relations?” It was a 16 minute feature by Lyazzat Shatayeva that had me corresponding from my office in Astoria in front of a background that consisted of a computer screen with camel and a thoughtfully placed … Buffalo Bills hat.

The topic of the segment was the uproar in Kazakhstan that was caused when it was discovered that nationalistic bloggers in China were making (rather dubious) claims on Kazakh territory. I covered the story in a series of articles on my (currently paused) On the New Silk Road newsletter:

Kazakhstan: China’s New Territorial Dispute?

China, Kazakhstan, And The Territorial Dispute That Isn’t

This was the second time that I was on Kazakh TV and the third time I was interviewed by Lyazzat. Whenever I pass through Astana Nur Sultan we meet up and do a story, but it had been a few years since I’ve been there. In the meantime it seems as if Lyazzat has moved up the ladder a little, as she now has her own show on the channel.

Watch the segment:

This was the first time I was on Kazakh TV:

I crossed a Rubicon of sorts by talking about Xinjiang and the 1.8 million ethnic minorities who are interned in camps there. Fuck it — I’m banned from China anyway.

Filed under: In Other Media, Kazakhstan

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3620 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York

13 comments… add one

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  • Trevor Warman June 19, 2020, 11:36 am

    Are you banned from china or u mean in Coronalife?
    Am hoping for better net then i can run the stream

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    • Jack June 19, 2020, 1:40 pm

      He may or may not be officially banned but at this stage only a fool would visit China and try to see for himself if he is actually banned or not.

      There are two types of bans. One where they ban you and one where you ban yourself because they will arrest you upon arrival.

      I’m banned from Thailand. I haven’t received any official word but have heard some information that I will be arrested for cybercrimes (running a forum for teachers who were posting opinions online) if I ever go back.

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      • Wade Shepard June 30, 2020, 9:59 pm

        It’s the first type.

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    • Wade Shepard June 30, 2020, 9:50 pm

      Banned in normal life. China and Hong Kong — which are pretty much the same thing now.

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  • Jack June 19, 2020, 1:36 pm

    I love you Wade. I’ve self censored myself in the past on this blog because I know that what commenters say can affect the blog writer himself. I’m glad you talked about that. You know I lived in Xinjiang for two years. I’m still tore up because I know former students of mine have been put in camps.

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    • Wade Shepard June 30, 2020, 9:58 pm

      Thanks, man. What you say is true (and timely considering the issue with Google and The Federalist and Zero Hedge). This site is now being punished for publishing content about Covid. If I began writing about my political views the site would probably be punished for that too. But what can you do? Independent publishing is being killed by companies who learned how to control the flow of information and make it run in the directions that benefit them.

      What you experienced as a teacher in Xinjiang is insane. I’ve spoken with others who would tell me about how students would suddenly disappear from their classes and dorms. The scariest thing was how they described the outward reaction of the other students: like nothing happened. The rest of the world pretty much acts the same. It’s much easier to pretend nothing is happening.

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      • Jack July 1, 2020, 7:59 pm

        Google has too much power. They can control the traffic that you get and control the revenue you make from that traffic. If you are publishing information that goes against the accepted narrative and investigative journalism does that, then you are subject to their whims. It leads to self-censorship and corporate censorship.

        There needs to be a better model and I know you are working on that. I think it really revolves around building a small community that likes your content and then provide them an easy way to support it. BAT tipping and contributions have some potential but without an easy way to for both readers to make the contribution from any browser/device and an easy way for creators to get access to the funds, it has too many kinks to work out.

        I use Keybase and I love the program and it’s integration with Stellar Lumens but even with that it is difficult to buy Lumens. I have to buy them on Coinbase and then send them to my Keybase Wallet. But sending them in Keybase is easy and there are tipping bots out there that help you tip via Lumens.

        That said the future of Keybase is in doubt after it was bought by Zoom.

        For a content creator to get the Lumens into fiat is easy enough. Coinbase will convert your Lumens to dollars and into your bank account. Blockcard will give you a prepaid Visa Debit card you can use internationally and can recharge with Lumens and other cryptocurrencies.

        Anyways I am just throwing things out there.

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        • Wade Shepard July 2, 2020, 10:00 am

          Yes, it is time to become disentangled from this web. Many don’t realize that the information they are exposed to is determined by major corporations with agendas — be it tech or news. They exist to make money and this is rarely done by allowing the truth to be known. The discrepancy between what many top level researchers and doctors are saying about Covid and the MSM / tech companies is a good example. The censorship of research that went against the WHO — an organization that has repeatedly boggled pandemics — is appalling. Science is the confluence of myriad contending streams of research, not one particular stream that the government finds appealing.

          For us independent publishers we need to find a new way. I foresee a bifurcated internet arising that will have the mainstream internet on one side and the alternative web on the other. We already sort of have that, but it doesn’t seem as if content creators have yet made the jump. We need a new way and new financing models. Oddly, we’re becoming trailblazers again.

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  • Sarah BB June 19, 2020, 6:14 pm

    How does one get banned from China?

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    • Trevor Warman June 20, 2020, 2:00 am

      @sarah very easily

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    • Wade Shepard June 30, 2020, 10:00 pm

      Writing honestly seems to do the trick.

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  • G June 20, 2020, 4:33 pm

    Can’t beat the introduction they gave you on that first appearance: “the famous writer and journalist Wade Shepard…” You’re big in Kazakhstan Wade, right up there with Kerouac and Hemingway. But seriously you came across as articulate and engaging.

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    • Wade Shepard June 30, 2020, 10:10 pm

      Thanks man, very much appreciated. Yup, big in Kazakhstan — right up there with Borat. I take that 🙂

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