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?


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. 


  • 2022-06-12 18:33:33 来源: 王小东 陕西  







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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