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Sunday, June 16, 2024

China recruits Western military pilots. Warning

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China is recruiting current and former military pilots from the West to train its military. So far, attempts to stop it have been unsuccessful, warn the United States and other countries sharing intelligence within the Five Eyes Alliance.

The Five Eyes Alliance is an agreement for cooperation between intelligence agencies USAGreat Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. On Wednesday, the countries creating it published a joint statement in which they warned that China effectively bypassing attempts to prevent them from recruiting current or former Western military pilots and other military professionals to train China's military.

“Western recruits who train China's People's Liberation Army may increase the risk of future conflict by reducing our deterrence capabilities,” it said.

They tempt with “mountains of money”

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This is not the first time that the Five Eyes Alliance has warned against China's efforts to obtain classified knowledge about the activities of various military formations in the West. According to Reuters, the Chinese army uses, among others, private companies operating in South Africa and China, which is seeking to hire former Western pilots, engineers and other aviation personnel to work as instructors for China's air and naval forces.

Western pilots are tempted by “mountains of money” and the opportunity to “fly truly exotic” Chinese planes, Reuters quotes an anonymous US official familiar with the background of China's recruitment attempts. Often, the connections of the companies submitting these offers with the Chinese armed forces are initially hidden from the pilots.

“The Chinese military wants the skills and advice of such units to enhance the operational capabilities of its own air force while gaining insight into Western air tactics, techniques and procedures,” the statement said. As assessed, these efforts constitute a “persistent and constantly adapting threat” to the security of the United States and its allies.

Chinese J-11 fighterFeature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Landing training on aircraft carriers

A representative of the US Cybersecurity Agency (NCSC), who wished to remain anonymous, said that the Chinese army has already recruited about 30 former British pilots, at least 5 New Zealand pilots, as well as pilots from other countries, including: With German.

There is also at least one known case of an attempt to try former US Marine pilot Daniel Duggan. Duggan is currently trying to avoid extradition from Australia, where he is staying, to the US, where he is accused of training Chinese military pilots in aircraft carrier landing techniques.

SEE ALSO: A Chinese aircraft carrier strike group has sailed near Taiwan

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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