Thursday, December 28, 2023

Chinese PMCs, Increasingly Active in Central Asia and Elsewhere, ‘Come Out of the Shadows’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 26 – Beijing has been using its own “private military companies” to guard Chinese facilities abroad and to put pressure on governments in other countries including prominently in Central Asia (

            But up to now, it has done so always without fanfare and typically with Chinese officials denying that they have or are using PMCs, calling them by a variety of other names to hide their true nature (

            Now, however, Chinese PMCs have “come out of the shadows” as it were by holding a meeting earlier this month at which there were officials of the Chinese foreign ministry as well as officers of various Chinese security companies (

            This new public stance suggests that Beijing now feels that it can use PMCs more openly and that the Chinese authorities will deploy them even more frequently than they have done up to now, potentially allowing China to put new pressures on weaker states or even use such forces to carry out regime change in some of them.

            The Beijing meeting on PMCs featured speakers who said China has no choice but to deploy such forces because there are now more than 47,000 Chinese companies in some 190 countries around the world that employ 4.1 million people, including 1.6 million citizens of the Peoples Republic.


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