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Blackwater Founder's Firm to Build 'Training Base' in Xinjiang, China - Report

Frontier Services Group specialises in providing security, mostly for Chinese companies, in unstable and dangerous regions around the world. However, its founder Erik Prince is mainly known for being the founder of private military company Blackwater, whose contractors were involved in the infamous killing of 14 unarmed Iraqi citizens in 2007.

Hong Kong based Frontier Services Group (FSG), founded by Erik Prince, has signed a deal with Chinese authorities to build a training centre in the Xinjiang region of China, Reuters reported, citing a statement by the company. FSG didn't provide any detail about what kind of centre it will be, what kind of training, or for whom it will provide the services.

plainclothes contractors working for Blackwater USA take part in a firefight as Iraqi demonstrators loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr attempt to advance on a facility being defended by U.S. and Spanish soldiers in the Iraqi city of Najaf - Sputnik International
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According to the statement, the deal was inked during a ceremony on 11 January that was attended by Xinjiang's officials and representatives from CITIC Guoan Construction. The deal suggests FSG will spend around $600,000 on the centre, which will be capable of training 8,000 people per year.

Frontier Services Group describes itself as a company providing security, logistics and insurance services, mostly for Chinese clients both inside the country and abroad. It provides its services to businesses operating in the world's hotspots.

Dr. Ching Chang, a research fellow at the Society for Strategic Studies, suggested that cooperation with FSG may prove beneficial for Chinses firms, though it’s difficult to predict the exact results.

"Chinese security professionals may inevitably learn the counterinsurgency schemes by way of the Blackwater training programs," he said. "However, whether the Blackwater expertise accumulated from other places in the world can practically employed in Xinjiang is yet to be seen. We may verify the value of the Blackwater service from the responses of the various Chinese security agencies and government departments."

The Xinjiang region neighbours eight countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, which face a huge security problems due to various terrorist groups operating in their nations, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). The group is listed as a terrorist organisation by the European Union, the United States, Russia, China, and other countries. The Chinese area is home to the mainly Muslim Uyghur minority, with anti-government insurgents operating in the region. Within the last two years, at least 200 people have died in attacks, allegedly carried out by Uyghur militants.

READ MORE: Former Blackwater Contractor's Sentencing Sheds Light on US War Crimes

FSG was established by Erik Prince, who is known for being the founder of the notorious private military company Blackwater. Blackwater's reputation suffered major blow after several of its contractors were accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians, 14 of them without just cause in 2007. After a series of trials, one of them admitted his guilt, while four others were convicted of committing murder. One of them received a life sentence, while three others got 30 years in prison.

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