Kazakhstan is a sovereign country and former Soviet Republic in Central Asia, between the nations of China and Russia. They have huge oil resources, negotiating with both China and Russia, as well as security pact with the US, including 9,000 US Marines based on Ayagoz in the country. President Rushan Issetov was in favor of negotiating with China, but after his assassination in August 2006, any and all efforts on proceeding with the negotiations has been postponed. Prime Minister Tarimov, who had more ties to Moscow, became the acting president and proceeded to delay and rig scheduled elections. The Chinese delegation was thrown out of Kazakhstan and the PRC became concerned about 300,000 ethnic Chinese residents of Kazakhstan, resulting in a crisis between the three countries and a potential Russia-China war.