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While the destroyer hull could be built at the Danish Shipyard that Youngho owned, the Aegis system and weapons must be brought from the U.S.
In fact, the U.S. government, which was aware that Kazakhstan had already placed orders for two Aegis destroyers in South Korea, and would welcome it if Kazakhstan reinforced its naval power since Kazakhstan was its ally.
The U.S. had been demanding its allies to strengthen their forces because it could not bear heavy defense costs and because of the high number of American soldiers being killed or injured overseas.
In any case, U.S. technology was necessary to build a destroyer worthy of the name of God’s shield.
Youngho called Michael to discuss this matter.
-Duke, your recent decision to lead arbitration between the United Arab Emirates and Iran was a divine move. Now that you’ve achieved something great, I think you can raise your voice in the international community. Why don’t you reconcile with China this time, too?
“I’m willing to do that if China doesn’t insist to claim Pamir. We didn’t want to bump into each other anyway, so we pulled our forces back.”
-That’s great to hear. I hope you can resolve your conflict preferably through conversations.
“Why are you so sensitive about issues with China?”
-It’s been years since I’ve been with you, Duke. I’m worried because I know the nature of your personality. China is a country that will never be tamed. You know better than me that you are no match. Right now, you need to ensure Kazakhstan’s internal stability. Conflicts with China will be resolved automatically if you have enough power.
“Even if the royal family or government wanted, our people will not condone yielding to China. You know how Central Asians are, don’t you?”
-Hear me out. Persuade your people and take a step back. That’s the best decision for the desirable future.
“If you’re so worried, why don’t you retire from the US CIA, and come and help me?”
-Are you serious now? I can help you because I’m serving in the intelligence service. I wouldn’t be much help to you if I can’t get any information. Anyway, there will be some movement in China in the near future. China will want to have a good relationship with Kazakhstan. Don’t reject it.
“Is this what China asked for from the U.S?”
-Not necessarily, but I’m just letting you know because I believe Chinese officials want the message to be delivered.
“That’s strange. I’ve never refused to talk to China before. I don’t understand why they have to go through the United States.”
-It’s true that since you took power, Kazakhstan has become a little estranged from China. I think the Chinese side also knows that something’s not right.
“If they really wanted to talk, they would have stopped the show of force in the Pamir Mountains already. If Chinese forces are pulled back, I’ll be ready for a serious conversation.”
-I will convey your message to the Chinese side. So, what are you going to do if China retreats from Pamir?
“There is no reason to be so happy for what should have been done already. Pamir was not something that China should have been claimed in the first place. Whatever China does, the fact that I don’t trust China will never change.”
Youngho could hear Michael’s moaning from the other end of the line.
-Oh, you’re just a stubborn child. I’m warning you. Don’t underestimate China, or you will get hurt.
“So I’m going to build more naval power. Help me build three Aegis destroyers and one large multipurpose landing ship.”
-What are you going to do with all that power? Are you trying to push into Northeast Asia and try to compete with China?
“That’s not true. Wouldn’t it be less tiring for the U.S. if Kazakhstan’s naval power in the Middle East is reinforced? ”
-Well, of course, we’ll appreciate that.
“It’s not a joke. We have to do it for the sake of the security of the Middle East.”
-It’s good to see you on the U.S. side, but I don’t know what the government will think because it has a track record of breaking the balance in the region. You know, the Chinese Navy doesn’t have an Aegis destroyer. By the way, where are you planning to station those?
“Our navy will be mostly active around the Arabian Sea. We can’t just stand by when the Chinese Navy will be stationed in Pakistan’s port of Gwadar. I know the U.S. Navy is there, but I’m sure it will not protect other countries’ cargo ships or vessels including Kazakhstan’s. Isn’t that correct?”
Michael was silent.
The U.S. Navy, which operated in the ocean, had its own mission, and it was impossible for the U.S. to escort ships from other countries unless they were in danger.
“We need military power to keep peace in the Middle East and China’s progress in check. Please help me purchase the Aegis radar system and missiles. We’ll order three ships altogether, so I’d like to lower the price a little bit.”
-I’ll talk to the relevant department first. Since it is for the purpose of arming our allies, exporting equipment and weapons won’t be hard, but I cannot guarantee the price issue because it is decided by individual companies.
“In that case, we’ll be in direct contact with the price issue.”
-I can’t help you with that from the governmental level, but I’ll personally help you.
“Don’t do that. You might get in trouble for that later.”
-Oh, you don’t need to worry about that. I’m a great lobbyist, you know.
“If you say so, you’re always welcomed. You know there’s room for your family at the villa we’re building in Kyrgyzstan, right? You can use it anytime.”
– Anything else but a boarding pass?
“What about the knighthood given by the Kazakh Royal Family?”
-I don’t want to be on the news.
Michael’s active involvement in preparing equipment and weapons systems that were applied to Aegis destroyers would speed the process. Now, the key was whether the design capability of the Danish Shipyard could handle such high technology.
As Michael assured, the Chinese military also pulled its troops back completely from the Pamir Plateau.
China had made quite a concession but Kazakhstan could never let its guard down against China for pulling back troops deployed on the border. According to satellite data, the troops retreated only about 50 kilometers from the border, which was a distance of only a day’s walk.
“What is this situation? They were acting like they will attack us at any time, but now they all fell back. We prepared everything for them. It’s like we’ve been dancing for them.”
“It’s a blessing in disguise because we’ve been able to pull Russian troops out of Tajikistan and deploy our forces.”
“Chinese troops just stepped down temporarily because of internal Chinese affairs. It’s not a complete withdrawal since they are only 50 kilometers away. They’re stepping down because they realize the winter’s harsh weather is too extreme to bear. We’ll see, but I’m sure they’ll definitely make another provocation when the weather clears up.”
“Let them come all they want. I’m confident that I can handle any number of them.”
“Whoa, it seems that the head of the Royal Guards has somebody behind him. Did you receive many Kurdish applicants?”
“Yup. We’ve got more than 5,000 people already. I’m confident that we can fight against China here only with the number of soldiers in the royal territory.”
Youngho, Jong-il, and Chul-hwan were chatting about Chinese forces’ withdrawal at Pamir.
Everyone felt a little out of place as it was so sudden and they actually wanted a battle at heart. It was frustrating to see that nothing happened while they were fully prepared.
There would be casualties and economic losses in the event of a battle, but there was a reason to take it nonetheless.
Youngho had intended to impose restrictions on imports of Chinese goods, citing border disputes, but the excuse for that was now gone. And another reason was that it was a good opportunity to integrate Tajikistan into a federal state.
“Everyone, listen. Since China has withdrawn, let’s put a barbed wire there and mark it as Tajikistan’s territory, what do you think?”
“Are we trying to provoke China in reverse?”
“What kind of provocation is that? I’m just trying to clarify the border section.”
“Will China stand still?”
“We will proceed no matter what.”
“Are you serious? Let’s hear what the hell you’re thinking.”
“If we want to take Tajikistan early and create an opportunity to drive out Chinese goods out of the nation, we have to force a dispute with China.”
“We’re finally going to do it.”
“Yes, the U.S. intervened, but it’s only a stopgap measure because they only pulled out about 50 kilometers back. I’m saying, let’s get China when its guard is still down.”
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