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Western military pilots appear one after another in China – what is happening here?

Western military pilots appear one after another in China – what is happening here?

The “Five Eyes” partner countries (an intelligence cooperation that includes Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand) issued a joint statement warning that Beijing was recruiting demobilized Western soldiers. According to the information provided, China is trying to convince fighter pilots who previously served in Western countries to join them as trainers through front companies. Bounty hunters do not reveal their affiliation with the Chinese army. The most popular previous occupations are fighter pilots, flight engineers, and air operations center personnel.

According to Michael Casey, head of the National Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Security Center, a division of the CIA, Western countries have already sensed the danger and taken measures to prevent it, but China has only increased its activities.

Beijing typically offers huge sums of money to selected pilots, in exchange for information about the strategies used by Western air forces. According to intelligence, the Chinese could also acquire knowledge such as tactics used in air combat or landing technique on aircraft carriers.

China can incorporate this knowledge into its military training, as well as its preparedness to confront them. Beijing could use this knowledge in operations against Taiwan.

However, the eastern superpower has significantly increased its naval and air forces in recent years It often faces a shortage of pilots and skilled personnel. Bringing in Western instructors also reduces this, and in addition, new pilots can immediately gain knowledge with which they can familiarize themselves with critically important NATO tactics.

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Cover image source: Boris Rösler/Image Alliance via Getty Images

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