Empire Of The Ring - novelonlinefull.com
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The Queen's party, visiting Tajikistan, had been making headlines wherever they went.
Not only the Queen but also Jelyan, Leon, and Rena were at the center of the talk.
Leon, who used to make troubles at the royal palace, was shamelessly dignified as if he had ever been like that, while Jelyan and Rena thrilled residents with the fresh charm of adolescent girls.
The cuteness of Leon, as he was half Asian and half European, was enough to shake the Tajik girls' minds.
Tajikistan was an inland country located in the eastern part of Central Asia and had a total area of about two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula.
Northwest of it was Uzbekistan and to its northeast, Kyrgyzstan was located. China to the east and Afghanistan to the south, it had a border that was 3,700 kilometers long in total, of which about 400 kilometers was shared with China.
Most of the land consisted of the Trans-Alay Mountains and the Pamir Plateau, which was 5,000 meters above sea level, with 93 percent of the land being mountainous.
As they were traveling around each city to meet the Tajik people, Fatima and Zeynep could not help but exclaim seeing amazing natural views.
"Oh! How can there be such a beautiful place? It's as pretty as Kyrgyzstan."
"You'd be more surprised to see the Pamir Plateau."
"Then let's go to the Pamir after the tour."
Zeynep interrupted when the Pamir Plateau was mentioned.
"You will be fine, but your sister can't go. There is no railway connected to the plateau, so you need to use a vehicle. We have Pamir Highway, but it's too rough and will cause motion sickness."
"I don't care. If not now, when will I go there?"
Fatima was also agreeing with Zeynep.
Youngho regretted talking about the Pamir Plateau. Not only did the unscheduled trip raise security concerns, but another problem was that the border area of the Pamir Plateau was a disputed area. If the royal family visited, it could provoke China.
Usually, it was customary for a head of state not to visit the territorial dispute area.
"I don't think it's a great idea because it could provoke China."
"The whole plateau is not in dispute. Why should we provoke China when we visit our territory?"
Fatima's question left him in need of an answer.
Even if a political figure was only hovering around the Pamir Plateau, China would make it an issue, but the queen's official visit meant that she would not recognize the Pamir Plateau as a disputed territory, which was hard to ignore from China.
For China, it would be like the head of the other country was visiting its territory without any notice.
Visiting a territorial dispute area was such a sensitive issue.
Youngho wished that she would visit there in private, but it did not seem to be acceptable to Fatima.
"Besides, I'm sure Tajik residents live there, so I'll have to look around. I don't want to hear that the royal family only visited the cities and doesn't care about remote villages. You're not afraid of China, are you?"
"It can't be. I just wish we don't create a disturbance."
"I love it here. So, I'd like to build a royal villa in the Pamir Plateau, too. What do you think?"
A visit to the Pamir Plateau was threatening enough, but she wanted to build a royal villa there. What kind of a villa could be in a place where there was no tree and electricity or water supply?
Apart from that, that could lead to Chinese military's deployment of its troops again.
Youngho had to make excuses.
"I want to build a house for you, but the Pamir Plateau is a place designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, so you can't have artificial facilities."
"Well, you built a military installation on the World Natural Heritage site."
"It's a military facility and is a temporary facility. It's dangerous since some places have landmines buried under the ground. Let's think about it when all the roads are paved later."
"Dear! There are mines buried? That means the nomads who live there are in danger."
"It's a tank mine, so it's okay. It takes a very heavy object to explode."
Now he was in trouble for using landmines as an excuse.
Whatever the case, he managed to stop Fatima's visit to the Pamir Plateau, under the pretext of landmines.
"It's great to finally meet you. I've heard a lot about you."
"It's an honor to meet you, Your Highness. I'm Rabiev, the head of the Islamic Party."
Rabiev in his early 40s was a relatively thin-bodied man, typical of Iranians.
Youngho thought he would be a sharp look because of the preconceived notion that he was a very smart person, but he felt quite easy-going in person.
"The Muslim party played a huge role in the queen's journey. Her Majesty asked me to say thank you."
"Oh, it's nothing to be thanked for. Her Majesty is taking a difficult step, and of course, we should come forward and welcome her."
The party members guarded each area of the Queen's visit and created a plausible atmosphere to welcome her.
Rabiev was not seeking to become rich by making a connection with the Kazakh royal family. He just thought the Kazakh royal family was the lifeline to overcome Tajikistan's poverty.
As there was a successful case of Kyrgyzstan before, he did not hesitate when Tajikistan became a federal state of the Kazakh Kingdom. His Kazakh friends, who he met while studying abroad in Kazakhstan, also praised the Kazakh royal family that came in power after a coup.
Kazakhstan, which had transformed itself into a const.i.tutional monarchy, and Kyrgyzstan, which had been incorporated as a federal state, quickly took the lead among developing countries.
"I've heard that some of the militiamen are party members. We've been operating together in the Pamir Plateau. They're very brave soldiers."
"We were united to try to change Tajik, but we were not strong enough. If Kazakhstan hadn't come forward, we'd be in a civil war again."
"Were you thinking of a coup?"
"So far we've been in despair. The only way to restart was a coup."
"How do you feel about that now?"
"Because we know the good changes Kazakhstan brought in Kyrgyzstan, we think we now have hope."
"Great expectations lead to big disappointments… …you know, it's hard to make a difference just with the royal effort."
"Your Highness, I ask you to use our force as yours. I'd like to add a little strength to Tajikistan's wave of change. That doesn't mean I'm greedy for power. I'll be satisfied to help with your policies in the outskirts."
"It makes me feel like I've got a thousand warriors and horses since your party is willing to help us. Then why don't you become the Royal Guards instead of staying outside to help?"
"That's quite an offer. We are not well-trained soldiers. I don't know what to say…"
It was such an unconventional proposal that Rabiev was at his wit's end. He knew the status of the Royal Bodyguards too well.
"I think that the Islamic Party has more than enough qualifications. How many members of the party are in their early 20s?"
"About 5,000 people."
The number was unexpectedly large.
Most young people were bound to be indifferent to politics, but they had all stepped up as the reality of Tajikistan was gloom.
Having such a large number meant it was an organization with a coup in mind.
In order to stabilize Tajikistan at an early date, Youngho had obtained such an organization under his control. It would be hard to bear when it became a hostile force to the royal family.
"I'd like to get them trained in the Royal Bodyguards and the rest can be used to enlighten the people."
Taking the role to enlighten the Tajik people meant that they could act as the mouth of the royal family.
"If you leave it to us, we will do our best to help you."
"If they were to join the guards, they have to swear allegiance to the Queen. Would there be no rejection?"
"It will never happen. Our party members' trust in the royal family is great."
After meeting with Rabiev, Youngho discussed the issue of supporting the Islamic Party with Park Jong-il.
"We need to give a proper name for the party if we want to use it."
"Why don't we name it the Tajik Contingent of the Royal Bodyguards?"
"It's a nice name, but wouldn't the Tajiks reject it? And if the anti-federal group were to accuse it of being a royal puppet, the scope of the groups' movement will be reduced."
"That group is subject to purging anyway."
"They're corrupted, but we shouldn't treat them inappropriately. Think about the status of the royal family. Do not use coercive methods in any case."
"Reform will be difficult then. There should be a bloodbath at least one time. The residents supported the royal family in antic.i.p.ation of that, but if we punished them with only a flick of a finger, they would doubt if we are willing to reform."
"If we spread the rumor that there's going to be a major reform, corrupt ones will leave on their own. Then we don't have to get blood on our hands. We can freeze their funds in their banks to prevent them from getting out of the country before they leave."
"Would they have kept illegal funds in the country? They must have already taken them overseas."
"Think of President Nazarbayev's slush fund."
It was highly likely that most of the funds were kept in the country, believing that the Kazakh royal family was never going to use coercive methods as it was not a dictatorship.
But what if the immigration at the airport or at the border was managed as well as freezing a.s.sets?
There would be no way to take away the hidden property.
In the end, if they wanted to avoid punishment, they would have no choice but to escape the country.
"How much gold is stored in the central bank? I saw gold in the Tajik minerals export list."
"The central bank didn't have any gold."
"What are you talking about?"
"It's a country that can't even pay the interest of its foreign debt. We even paid for its Chinese debt."
"I know there are quite a lot of gold mines, but does it make sense that there is no gold stored in the central bank?"
"I heard that China has taken all the gold as interest."
"Take control of the gold mines right now. That's the only way to get the funds back."
"Wouldn't the Tajik government resist?"
"Then tell it to pay back the Chinese debt paid by the royal family. I don't think they thought it was free."