Empire Of The Ring Chapter 263
Youngho and Jong-il’s Russian passports would be useless next time if they did not have a departure stamp. Because there should be evidence that they had traveled to Xinjiang in order to visit there next time, they had to cross the border by car and come back on foot in silence.
Since the Chinese force might close the border area after this time, they were going through inconvenient steps. The whole region of Xinjiang Uyghur was suffering because of Youngho and Jong-il’s recent doing in the Afghan border. The two planned to do another job to provoke the hostility between China and Central Asian regions one more time since people were already suffering anyway.
“Man, we’ve grown so much that we are now making global conflicts.”
Jong-il said it to Youngho as they were taking a break while running in a mountainous region.
“Yeah, it looks that way since we’re doing something, knowing that there will be disputes provoked by our actions.”
In the past, Youngho would have taken actions without knowing the consequences but now he acted while comparing many situations and predicting what would come out as the results of his actions. What they were about to do now was also a thoroughly measured provocation.
Frequent accidents in military camps were usually fire or accidents caused by mishandling of explosives. Many times, the Chinese force would blame Uyghur independence fighters for those accidents since it was a good excuse to get out of reprimands of the central authorities.
“This unit is tightly guarded.”
“Let’s wait until it gets colder. They will all go inside.”
Even with winter clothes on, it was hard to stand outside for more than ten minutes. Due to unimaginable cold, watchers would stay inside the guard posts to do their job. As soon as they were inside the posts, they would get drowsy due to the warmth, and when they were that way, they were slow to act. Even if they did not get drowsy, their visions would get compromised because of the frost on the windows of the guard posts because of the temperature difference. When that happened, it would be the best time to take actions.
“Hey, those guys keep going in and out of the door. Wait, what’s that? Armored vehicles are now moving.”
Two light-armored vehicles now came out of the gate and began to patrol around the unit. Patrolling around the base at eight in the evening meant that the unit was ready for intruders. This unit must be tightly guarding their oil tanks and drums as well. Naturally, they would have emptied things around the oil warehouse units.
“Man. Should we wait until dawn?”
“If only I had a rocket launcher. I’d just have to fire some shots and leave.”
All they had were rifles now, so nothing could be done until they were inside the unit.
“Why don’t we just call it a day after firing automatic shots?”
“We need to make it seem like an accident. Poor Uyghurs will suffer from this.”
“What’s the matter? There’s got to be so many global broadcasting companies in Xinjiang Uyghur. Those Chinese won’t be happy if this spread out.”
Since Uyghur’s independence movement was already well-known by the global community, if China oppressed Uyghurs with a high hand this time, it would provide good news for global press and freelance journalists. However, China might not care about what foreign public might think about their actions since it would also trouble China if it did not seek strong confrontation with the conflict with Uyghurs in the border area right now. Being a country that had frontiers with so many countries, other minority ethnic groups might also request their independence as well. In order to prevent that from happening, China might face Uyghurs squarely by way of exemplary punishment.
Youngho and Jong-il could move carelessly at the base near the Afghan border because of the self-generator that the Chinese force used, but here was quiet as a mouse. Since guards were patrolling outside their posts, they could not find a chance to sneak in.
“We might not get lucky today.”
They could not dig a tunnel to get inside the unit. The only way to get in was to gather all eyes in one place. As one distracted the guards, the other would sneak inside the base and destroy military equipment.
“Jong-il. I’ll give you the honor. You can distract the guards here. I’ll get to the other side to get inside.”
“Alright. That’s a good idea but are you going to be fine?”
“If I get caught, I’ll just run like crazy. I don’t have to risk my life here when we’re only here to confuse people.”
“Okay, don’t overdo it.”
In a short time, while Youngho was getting to the other side, Jong-il had already begun to distract people.
He had fired at the guard posts randomly.
The sound of his gunshots was so loud, that it sounded like dozens of people had come to attack the base. The base was alerted immediately. The soldiers who had just gone inside to sleep came outside with guns in their hands, not fully dressed. However, shrewd Jong-il kept on moving his locations and firing at the Chinese soldiers that they could not even aim at him.
After watching the armored vehicles that had been patrolling around the unit went back toward the direction of where Jong-il was, Youngho climbed over the barbed-wire fence.
Around the fence were warehouse units standing in a row. Security lamps were lighting the whole place and blind spots were barely there. All of the warehouses were locked. It seemed the base was tightly guarded but nothing could be perfect. Youngho thought that there must be a weak spot.
The gates of the warehouses would be locked of course, but small doors on the sides of the units that were used to take groceries and devices might not be locked. There could be some old, lazy veterans in any base.
As expected, when Youngho pushed on a side door of a warehouse unit, it slid right back. When he stepped inside, he could smell a strong gas odor. The building was used as an auto garage. On the side of a wall, lubricating oil bottles, car paints, and thinner bottles were welcoming him.
Youngho heard a loud explosion after hearing busy machine gunshots from armored vehicles. It seemed that Jong-il had jumped on the vehicles and finished them. It was not Jong-il if he had let it pass easily. At the same time, the auto garage warehouse began to burn up.
Now it was time for Youngho to divide the attention that was solely on Jong-il. After getting outside of the base, he began to consecutively fire at trucks that were lined up in the military training ground. He took off after going through five magazines. Then, he started to run in the direction of the promised location.
Jong-il, who had been breathing heavily, sat down on the ground with a pleasant smile on his face.
“Hey, I told you not to overdo it but you had to wreck all those trucks before coming out?”
Jong-il was one to talk.
“Oh, yeah? What about those armored vehicles?”
“They were just making a lot of noise so I went behind of the vehicles and burned up their gas tanks. Man, I could’ve been troubled so bad. Machine guns are just hard to escape from.”
It seemed that a bold guy like Jong-il was also stunned by machine guns. Anyhow, the leather shoes would have given him the mobility faster than armored vehicles. It would have been a piece of cake to go behind and jump on top of them. It was only possible because they could see most of the things with their bare eyes even in the evening, unlike other normal people who needed flashlights to see.
The base of the Chinese force was still on fire at a glance from a distance.
The only thing that could put out the fire on paint and thinner was sand. Water would have been frozen hard already. Even if they had water, it would be difficult to put out the fire for a base that did not have a fire engine.
Although it was a small incident, the Chinese government was astounded by an event that its military base was attacked out of nowhere that the incident was exposed to news broadcasters, which was an unusual step for the Chinese government.
The reason for the Chinese government’s exceptional decision to expose the news to the global community was showing its intention to pressure Uyghurs even more from now on.
That meant that Youngho had achieved what he had aimed for. China’s hostility toward Uyghur people would make the rift between it and Central Asian countries deepen. They would support Xinjiang Uyghur’s independence movement. That would inevitably bring a battle that was close to a civil war. The more China used its hard-line policy on Xinjiang Uyghur, the closer it would be to its dream of separation and independence from China.
As Youngho watched the news on TV, he called Michael and reported the details about what he did for this mission. Michael showered him with compliments.
“Okay. You did a great job at such a cold place. What you’ve done is huge this time. I’ll get you some drinks when you get to Frankfurt.”
“Whoa, I feel like I did something since you said you’re going to buy me a drink.”
“Yes, yes. You did something great. China is going to pressure Uyghur more and it’s obvious that Central Asian countries will stand against it.”
“I’m a little worried about the Uyghur people. They’re already suffering but if China goes even more harsh on them, I’m afraid that there’s going to be a huge disorder.”
“That was expected to happen anyways. I’m hoping that the freelance journalists in Xinjiang Uyghur would take this to the global level.”
Michael wanted to use the power of the press to expose Chinese oppression of the minor ethnic groups.
“I think the border will be closed for a while now. In order to find who’s responsible for this, they’d block everyone at the border. Do you think journalists would be able to roam around freely there?”
“An article and a single picture, do you have any idea how much they’d make for it? If they missed this, they can’t be called freelance journalists. Smart ones are said to have contracted with local people already.”
Journalists would go anywhere if there was a newsworthy issue even if it was a fire pit. Michael believed that the story would be told to the Western world through them somehow.
“I’ll see you at the chapter for our next meeting. I’ll look forward to receiving gifts from you.”
Even though he was asking back to Youngho, Michael’s voice was high. It seemed that he had already prepared something for Youngho.
At Royal Tulip Hotel in Almaty, Youngho and Jong-il relaxed enjoying the hot spa. As they were spending their second day at the hotel doing nothing, Agent Smith flew in from Astana to meet them. It seemed that he had heard about what they had done at Xinjiang’s border since he showed his thumb as he walked into their room.
“Director, why don’t you count me in when you go on an operation?”
He was speaking nonsense. He could not possibly join their trip, which was more than 200 kilometers of distance, where they would have to go over a mountain in negative twenty-two degrees in Fahrenheit. Jong-il laughed hard at Smith’s remark.
“Smith, you think we had gone on a picnic?”
“I know you’ve gone through troubles. I’ve done mountain-climbing training when I was in the intelligence school.”
“You would have done that in the summer.”
“We did train in the winter as well.”
“It would have been only about ten degrees above zero.”
Since Jong-il did not seem to approve of him, he looked at Youngho instead.
“Smith, it’s impossible unless you receive two years of special training. Can you hold out only with a sleeping bag without making any fire in below zero temperature?”
“You can’t make fire?”
“Well, it’s not a boy scout.”
Smith shut his mouth at that point.
“Smith, you said you know the mayor of Almaty, right?”
Now that he succeeded in shaking China, he was going to take care of his business. K Electronics had said that it was going to build another factory in Almaty.
“Of course, the mayor is a pro-American politician.”
“Can you introduce me to him? A foreign corporation is planning to build a solar panel factory in Almaty. I don’t want to ask a favor to the president for little things.”
Although it would be taken care of with one call to the president, Youngho did not want to bother the president for small things. Moreover, now was the time to make connections with local governors and politicians to raise the autonomous state’s reputation. When he would be known to help to attract foreign corporation’s business to Almaty, the autonomous state would gain credit for that eventually.
Almaty was the economic center of Kazakhstan and the mayor of the city would be a remarkable person. Youngho was eager to draw him to his side.
“The factory’s scale is quite huge.”
“It’s for K Electronics, which is a global solar panel corporation. There’s one factory in Atyrau and the company wants to build their second factory here.”
“In that case, the mayor would come out with his bare feet and welcome it. It’ll also save my face.”
“Smith, I know you’ve done a lot for me but do me another favor. Can you set up a private meeting with the mayor?”
“Well, that’s no problem at all. I’m going to get free drinks from the mayor.”
Since Youngho would build his hotel chain and even a factory in Almaty, it was a great chance to show off to the mayor.
There would be no mayor who would oppose it when new job openings were created in his city.