As the contest to win development, market and resource rights in Africa heats up, China just upped the ante by hiring one of the world’s most famous mercenaries to protect its interests on the continent. An excerpt of international affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe’s new column:
As the contest for influence in Asia between China and Japan spills over into a scramble for trade, resources and political support in Africa, Beijing has gathered into its camp one of the world’s most famous mercenaries. Erik Prince, the former United States Navy Seal who founded the controversial private security group Blackwater in 1997 and saw it become an indispensable element in the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, is taking on a new role as the bodyguard of Beijing’s investments in Africa …
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