Firm founded by ex-Blackwater boss to operate in China’s Xinjiang province

Erik Prince

 

A security firm founded by Erik Prince, the former boss of the private military company Blackwater, has announced a deal with the Chinese state to operate a training facility in China’s largely Muslim Xinjiang province. In the months following the United States invasion of Iraq, Blackwater was hired by the Department of State to provide diplomatic security at several locations throughout the Middle Eastern country. By 2010, when the company was abruptly sold to a group of private investors, its tactics in Iraq had prompted international controversy. Prince went on to help found Frontier Services Group (FSG), another private security firm registered in Hong Kong. The company provides security training to personnel working for Chinese companies. Its specialization is training personnel of Chinese firms based abroad, mainly in regions of Africa. Continue reading

PLA has set up Chinese version of ‘PRISM’ monitoring in H.K.: Kanwa

Hong Kong, Nov. 17 (CNA) The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has established a large-scale signals and information monitoring facility in Hong Kong similar to the U.S. PRISM monitoring program, according to the Canada-based Kanwa Information Center.

In a report obtained by CNA, Kanwa, which publishes a monthly magazine on Asian defense issues, said that intelligence experts have made the findings after observing the facility from the top of Tai Mo Shan, the highest mountain in Hong Kong with a altitude of 950 meters. Continue reading

China betting on overland energy-supply lines

SINGAPORE – China’s strategy to diversify supply routes for its rapidly rising energy imports has just taken a major step forward.

On July 15, natural gas from Myanmar (aka Burma) started to flow along a recently completed pipeline that stretches for 1,100 kilometers from the sea coast, through jungle and mountains, to Kunming in southwest China.

There it will feed into other gas lines supplying homes, industries and power plants generating electricity in the world’s biggest energy user. Continue reading

SCO contemplates expanding membership

By opening its doors to India, Iran and Pakistan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will increase its legitimacy and effectiveness among regional and international powers, and enhance its power posture in the international scene.

During the recent meeting of foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi emphasized how the group has “actively pushed forward the regional cooperation.” He also reiterated that China would abide by its “policy of friendship and partnership with neighbouring countries.” This spirit of cooperation or what is referred in sections of media as ‘Shanghai Sprit’ was also reiterated during the meeting of defence ministers of the group held in last week of June 2013 in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. The widening of the SCO’s membership to include India, Iran and Pakistan will accrue numerous advantages to the group and strengthen its capacity to realise its goal of regional peace and stability. Continue reading

Implications of new ‘Silk Route’

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent five-day trip to China after assuming power has been termed highly successful in Islamabad. Important deals were inked on this visit that is emblematic of Sharif’s economic policy aimed at fixing the country’s staggering economy. But more significant is the strategic development pertaining to the decision to develop the trade corridor between the two countries — a project with regional implications beyond South West Asia.

The much-publicised agreement to speed work on developing a 2,000-km trade corridor linking Gwadar Port on Pakistan’s Makran Coast to Kashgar in China’s Xingjian province has been called a “game changer” by Sharif. Continue reading