China 'aggressively recruits' Western pilots. In the background is the conflict over Taiwan

China 'aggressively recruits' Western pilots.  In the background is the conflict over Taiwan

China wants to acquire knowledge about Western fighters and tactics by offering exorbitant salaries to aircraft instructors. Western countries are trying to block this practice, but to no avail.

The US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have jointly warned that China's People's Liberation Army is “aggressively recruiting” Western fighter pilots. This is despite efforts to block the practice. The Chinese armed forces, realizing their own shortcomings, are seeking instructors for their own pilots through private companies around the world, offering them exorbitant salaries, the Financial Times reported.

One American official said that for former military pilots, the opportunity to fly exotic fighters again may be attractive, especially with high earnings. Companies recruiting instructors for the People's Liberation Army often concealed the military's involvement. During the training, the Chinese armed forces tried to acquire knowledge about modern Western aircraft and tactics that could be used, for example, in the conflict over Taiwan.

The US and its allies warn against China's practice. Concerns about Taiwan

Washington and its allies already in 2012 took a number of actions to make it more difficult to recruit Western pilots for the Chinese army. The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed sanctions on groups in China, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates for allegedly engaging in recruiting activities. In response, the Chinese military changed names and opened groups in new locations.

The National Security Act was updated, among others, by: Great Britain. This makes it possible to prosecute former pilots for sharing certain military information. The matter also hit the agenda of NATO, which organized a conference to discuss ways to deal with the problem. The Chinese embassy in Washington stressed that countries should not abuse the concept of national security. In turn, denigration is not intended to promote the development of relations between countries.

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