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China’s ‘Private Army’ prowls the ‘New Silk Road’

“It has been described as China’s ‘Private Army.’ Fueled by growing demand from domestic companies involved in the multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, independent security groups are expanding in the country. In 2013, there were 4,000-registered firms, employing more than 4.3 million personnel. By 2017, the figure had jumped to 5,000 with staff numbers hovering around the five-million mark. Many of these operatives are former People’s Liberation Army veterans, who have been recruited by security companies closely linked to ‘New Silk Road’ projects. ‘Like their Western counterparts, most Chinese PSCs employ former soldiers or former police officers, a fact that blurs the line between China’s security forces and private security providers,’ a report by the Mercator Institute for China Studies, or MERICS, a leading German think tank, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the United Kingdom stated.”

Source: China’s ‘Private Army’ prowls the ‘New Silk Road’ | Asia Times

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