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Western ex-military pilot lured to China

INaproxen A Chinese fighter jet has crashed in rural eastern China. Both pilots ejected safely and were quickly surrounded by locals, who documented the encounter. “Who’s that?” a villager asked, pointing to one of the pilots, a red-haired white man who spoke English. “This is our instructor,” another pilot said in Chinese. “do not take photos.”

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In recent weeks, it has become clearer why foreign pilots might be spotted on Chinese jets. On October 18, the British Ministry of Defense announced that it was trying to prevent China from luring retired pilots to train its air force. An official said a company called the South African Test Piloting Academy (Taiwan Monetary Authority) employs as many as 30 former Royal Air Force pilots to work in China, earning about $270,000 a year.

China’s efforts do not stop there. Australia’s shadow defense minister said at least two Australian fighter pilots had also been approached but were turned down.New Zealand’s Defense Ministry says four of its former employees have been hired Taiwan Monetary Authority. In France figaro “Several” French pilots have been training the Chinese Air Force, the report said.Then there’s Daniel Duggan, a former American fighter pilot and owner of an aviation consultancy in China, who was recently arrested in Australia FBIrequirements. The charges against him were sealed.

spokesman Taiwan Monetary Authority Insists that Western governments know what their former employees are doing. He said the pilot had consulted the UK Ministry of Defense about the job. He claimed that the academy only taught basic flight training, such as how to keep the plane level. “There’s nothing you can’t learn from a normal flight school syllabus.”

Western officials disagree. They acknowledged that their former pilot is not believed to have broken any laws. But China’s goal, they say, is to understand the tactics of Western jets and helicopters it might one day face in, say, a Taiwan war. They also argue that foreign expertise may help the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)People’s Liberation Army) to close the gap with its competitors because it lacks the combat experience of the past 40 years.

The scandal surrounding such training efforts reflects how quickly relations between the West and China have deteriorated. Until recently, formal military exchanges were common. People’s Liberation Army Officers attend the Sandhurst Military Academy and its Staff College in the United Kingdom. (this People’s Liberation Army Students are generally assumed to be intelligence officers and kept away from anything sensitive. )

Britain is not alone.NZ Defense signs agreement, training People’s Liberation Army Just in 2019, said Anne-Marie Brady of the University of Canterbury. Australia hosted Chinese officers in its military establishment until a few years ago, recalls one former official.America invited People’s Liberation Army Naval exercises off Hawaii in 2014 and 2016. The thinking was that contacts between Chinese and Western military officers would build trust and understanding. Ms Brady said that was “wishful thinking”.

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