2022 Wang Xiaodong: Will the Wagner Group, Long Involved in Africa, Affect China’s Interests There?

A Suble Warning: Watch Out for Nazis Running Amok in Russia

As the far right edges towards fascism around the world, I wonder if Carl Orff’s Camina Burana hints at the cause (or captures a zeitgeist): feelings of many people towards the bottom of the economic and social ladder of being helpless victims of fate. In the USA anti-elitist movements on both the left “Occupy” and the right “Tea Party” arose amidst growing frustrations with the 2008 economic depression.

Here a well-known Chinese nationalist writer warns about the growing influence of Nazi ideology in Russia. He does it in a fairly subtle way, a way that Chinese writers who have grown up in an environment of strict press guidance and censorship (mostly through intimidation, in a post-publication, we’ll get you later if you step out of line way, but still) have mastered.

Whether he is worried about China too is unclear: 19th and early 20th century writers might criticize Russia or Japan to avoid the censor’s wrath about something they wrote while actually drawing their readers’ attention to domestic parallels. During my decade in China, in one memorable conversation I was told “We Chinese know what fascism is: we experienced it in the Cultural Revolution.”

Many Shades of Gray: Status of Military Forces Not Acknowledged or Not Under Direct Military Control

Another ‘point to ponder’ is the role of non-military state forces under real state control, nominal state countrol or operating as contractors with little acknowledged or real state control. While certainly not the same thing as the Wagner Group, I wonder about the legal status under international law — Geneva Convention and all — on military forces not under the direct military command of a state say the CIA’s paramilitary forces in the early days of US involvement in the recent war there or the Blackwater — they changed their name to Xe Services and Academi apparently to escape bad publicity under new ownership but they are still out there.

Another gray area is the status of offensive cyber forces. I wonder what the rules of war are for offensive cyber actions done by actors located at CIA and NSA. There is some military control of offensive operations under U.S. Cyber Command but is that the Command the only US entity doing offensive (or even defensive attacks on an ongoing attack operation) cyber operations? Rules of the road for cyber operations, especially since the source of catastrophic cyber attacks can be more easily concealed than conventional ones, and at what point they tip over into acts of war is a big question. The Talinn Manual was a start; efforts continue to develop international law in cyberspace.

A Chinese Wagner Group One Day? Perhaps for Now, Investment Talks Louder than Force

I wonder if one day China will want to create its own “Wagner Group”. China is beginning to set up refueling/service stations transmuting into bases around the world; perhaps its own Wagner Group will be something it will consider some decades hence. China’s investments around the world are growing and essential to China’s economy. Thinking harder about how to protect Chinese investments is only natural. Recently the Chinese military announced a set of guidelines for military operations other than war. See 2022: PLA Guidelines on Military Operations Other Than War.

For more on the author of this article,Wang Xiaodong, see:


Will the Wagner Group, Long Involved in Africa, Affect China’s Interests There?

2022-06-12  

Source: Wang Xiaodong Shaanxi Report

by Wang Xiaodong, author of China is Unhappy

Everyone must have already heard of the Wagner Group [Translator’s note: Russian language Wiki page on Wagner Group translated here ] . The Wagner Group is a Russian paramilitary force, also called mercenaries.  Now however, the Russian government is desperately trying to claim that it has no connection with it but they are in fact connected. Recently there was an incident where a camp of the Wagner Group in the Lugansk region was set afire.  How that could have happened nobody knows.

The Wagner Group, let me say, is actually a paramilitary force, a mercenary force, behind which is the Russian government. It first time became prominent in 2014, and it has been a very active force in the Russian-Ukrainian war, and it is said to have a very strong combat capability.

In addition, the Wagner Group is not limited to Ukraine. In Africa too it plays a big role, including in the Central African Republic, where it is the hand of Russia in the CAR, a Russian hand that extends to elsewhere in Africa as well. The Wagner Group has done a lot of work in the CAR, including training African militants. Although Russia in not economically strong, its military power is never far away: Russian military power extends far and wide, into Africa and into other regions of the world as well.

We all know that China has made huge investments in Africa. So is this arm of Russia’s military reach into Africa good for Chinese investments there or not? That is hard to say.  Some say it is beneficial for Chinese investments while others disagree. 

So how did it get its name  “Wagner Group”?  Richard Wagner was a famous German musician.  The famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche liked Wagner’s music very much. Nietzsche wrote a very famous book, entitled The Birth of Tragedy, which highly praised Wagner’s music. Adolf Hitler too was also particularly fond of Wagner, Hitler, of course, also liked Nietzsche, Hitler once said, “If you want to understand me, you must first understand Wagner” was very high praise coming from Hitler. 

So you can imagine just what is the ideology of the Wagner Group.  So although Russia talks about de-Nazification and the  de-Nazification of Ukraine, the problem of Nazi ideology within Russia itself is also a fairly serious problem.  This not  to slander the Wagner Group, to slander Russia or Putin; this is an indisputable fact.  So when Russia talks about the Nazification of Ukraine, this is realistically speaking, is just playing the Nazi card.  This something very said to say, for Russia itself suffered a great deal at the hands of the Nazi.  However in the lands of the former Soviet Union, whether we are talking about Russia itself or about Ukraine, the question of just why Nazi ideology is so strong there is a problem worth deeply pondering. 


瓦格纳旅的活动范围早已达到非洲,是否会影响中国在非利益?

  • 2022-06-12 18:33:33 来源: 王小东 陕西  

瓦格纳旅大家肯定都听说过,它是俄罗斯的一支准军事部队,也叫雇佣军,但现在俄罗斯政府拼命摆脱跟它的联系啊,说是没关系,但实际上还真是有关系。最近发生了一件事,瓦格纳旅在卢甘斯克州的一处营地被点火烧了,怎么烧的也不知道。

这瓦格纳旅让我说,其实是一支准军事部队一支雇佣军,它背后就是俄罗斯政府。暂露头角是在2014年,而且这次俄乌战争它确实也是一支积极的活动力量,据说战斗能力还很强。

另外瓦格纳旅它绝对不仅仅限于乌克兰地区发挥作用,它实际上有一个很大的发挥作用的地方是非洲,包括在中非共和国,是俄罗斯伸出来在中非的一只手,在非洲的一只手,在中非就干了不少事,包括训练非洲的武装人员等等。别看俄罗斯经济力量不行,但是武力还真是无远弗届,在非洲一样伸手。

我们中国大家都知道在非洲有巨大的投资,那么俄罗斯在非洲的武力上的这种伸手,对于我们中国在非洲的投资,到底是有利还是不利呢?现在这还真不好说,有人说是有利的,有人说是不利的。

那么瓦格纳旅这个名字是怎么来的呢,瓦格纳是德国的著名的音乐家,德国著名哲学家尼采特别喜欢他的音乐,尼采有一本很著名的书,叫做《悲剧的诞生》,就像瓦格纳的音乐,抬得非常高。而且希特勒也是特别喜欢瓦格纳,希特勒当然了也喜欢尼采,希特勒曾经说过,你要想了解我,就是了解希特勒,就得先了解瓦格纳,也是提到一个非常高的高度。

所以大家可以想象,瓦格纳它这个组织,这个意识形态是什么。所以什么去纳粹化,去乌克兰的纳粹化,俄罗斯的纳粹的思想,在其国内也是相当的重的,这个是不争的事实,不是有谁故意黑它,黑俄罗斯和黑普京,事实还真的是这样。所以俄罗斯说去乌克兰的纳粹化,这个基本上实事求是地讲,就是打着这个牌子而已。这点倒是也挺感叹的,你说就苏联吃过纳粹这么大的亏,但在苏联的国土上,无论是俄罗斯还是乌克兰,这纳粹思想怎么还那么重呢,这是值得人们深思的一个问题。

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
This entry was posted in Foreign Relations 外交, Military 军事, National Security 安全, Russia. Bookmark the permalink.

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