A military expert speaks to ‘Sky News Arabia’ about his expectations for the next steps China could take to protect its workers on the mainland, and he did not rule out that among them would be the creation of companies such as the armed Russian “Wagner”, in addition to the presence of a Chinese policeman on the ground.
risks for workers
In recent years, China has signed more than 40 security agreements with African countries to enable its relevant agencies to protect Chinese workers from attack, according to the South China newspaper.
However, the attacks continue and last March 9 Chinese workers were killed in an attack by gunmen on a gold mining site in the Central African Republic, in addition to dozens of attacks and kidnappings Chinese in Libya, Nigeria, Congo and Uganda. , in ancient times.
New Security Policy
From there, Beijing has developed a strategy that combines the prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against its citizens with support for the police and military in countries plagued by instability.
Among the features of this strategy, according to what was tracked by a report by Afro-Chinese security expert, Paul Nantulia:
• China has sent criminal investigators to Nigeria after an increase in kidnappings and attacks on Chinese people.
• In January 2022, Chinese army soldiers participated in an operation in Uganda to arrest and deport 4 Chinese citizens who had committed major crimes.
• Strengthening of Chinese police standards within police forces in Africa; More than 2,000 police and law enforcement personnel from several countries received training in China between 2018 and 2021, and police training schools and police stations have been built in many parts of the mainland.
• China’s Ministry of Public Security has signed agreements with Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Nairobi to protect major Chinese-backed projects.
• There is a joint program between the Algerian Ministry of Interior, local authorities and the Chinese Academy of Governance, from which more than 400 Algerian police, law enforcement and civil servants graduated between 2015 and 2018.
• Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Tanzania are also on the long list of countries cooperating with China in the field of law enforcement.
• There are joint police operations that China has already conducted with police forces in Africa.
• China is willing to provide other developing countries with 5,000 training opportunities over the next five years to train professionals capable of dealing with global security issues.
Military expert Jamal Al-Rifai comments that securing China’s commercial and economic interests in Africa is “a necessity”, with its trade with the continent exceeding $200 billion and increasing attacks on its workers .
Al-Rifai paints for “Sky News Arabia” a picture of what “security” countries that compete with China in Africa are doing, and what Beijing should do in turn:
• Russia secures its investments in the fighters of the company “Wagner”, and America secures its investments in its forces operating on the continent, “AFRICOM”.
• China, so far, there is no clear military entity that protects its interests, except for its forces at the military base in Djibouti, which is the same on the mainland.
• China has competitors who may want to thwart its presence on the continent.
• With increasing attacks on workers, their countries are signing protocols to protect them, but China needs more than protocols, like military supplies and police presence on the ground.
• Therefore, it is not excluded that Beijing creates a company like the Russian “Wagner”, and there are anonymous Chinese military entities that have actually carried out operations inside Africa and appeared in the evacuation of Sudanese nationals.
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