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.
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.
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.