Xinjiang: Ex-Blackwater chief's security firm linked to China training centre

A security firm founded by ex-Blackwater chief Erik Prince has signed a preliminary deal to build a training centre in China’s Xinjiang region, according to a company statement.

Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (FSG) announced the deal on its website in a now deleted post.

Blackwater guards hired by the US played a controversial role in Iraq.

Xinjiang has recently been the focus of a security crackdown that has seen mass detentions of Uighur Muslims.

China has defended its use of internment camps in Xinjiang, describing them as “vocational training centres” that it says are proving effective in staving off terrorism through “thought transformation”.

But it has come under international criticism for allegedly having held up to a million people.

Private firm FSG already provides security training services to companies based in China, as well as a number of Chinese companies that operate overseas, particularly in Africa.

In a statement posted on its Chinese-language website on 22 January, FSG said one of its subsidiaries had signed a deal for a “training centre” with the Kashgar Caohu industrial park in Xinjiang.

On Friday, an FSG spokesman told AFP news agency that Mr Prince had “no knowledge or involvement whatsoever” of the announced preliminary agreement.

The spokesman added that any such investment or deal would require the approval of all FSG board members.

Mr Prince, who is a minority shareholder in the company and also a…

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