Overseas safety woes call for private armed forces

By Guo Yiming
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 4, 2015
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A report focusing on the supply-side economics of Chinese private security firms is released at a press conference in Beijing on Dec. 3, 2015. [Photo by Guo Yiming/China.org.cn]

Overseas branches of companies like CNPC lack the necessary protection from its home government and host countries, he added. The Chinese government's consular protection, military action and cooperation with host countries or international organizations are still unable to provide a reliable safety net from alarming dangers.

This vacuum pushes more private security companies (PSC), staffed by retired military personnel, to go global as their presence has grown in both number and scale. More and more Chinese citizens and enterprises overseas are using private forces which provide a wide range of services from risk evaluation, safety training and on-site protection to security auditing and medical relief.

However, compared to their fully-fledged counterparts overseas, Chinese private security companies still have a long way to go. "They are still insufficient in their ability to act," said Yu Wanli, a senior research fellow at the Charhar Institute. "These companies lack information or intelligence collecting ability and are clumsy when dealing with public relations."

Yu called for the government to play a more active role based on market economy rules.

Han Fangming, deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the CPPCC and Chairman of the Charhar Institute, urged "Chinese security firms to expand their presence outside China and encouraged them to learn from their international counterparts."

Chinese privately-owned security companies, both at home and abroad, only became legal under Chinese law in 2010. Controversial issues like gun use and the identity of private security professionals dispatched overseas remain unresolved.

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