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US and allies: China is aggressively recruiting Western fighter pilots

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun7,2024

US, Allies: China Aggressively Recruiting Western Fighter Pilots

Photo: A Chinese J-15 fighter jet prepares to take off from an aircraft carrier during a People's Liberation Army military exercise near Taiwan, April 9, 2023

The Chinese military appears to be stepping up its efforts to recruit current and former Western fighter pilots, using new and more sophisticated tactics to lure Western talent, the Voice of America reported.

The United States and some of its closest intelligence partners have warned that The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is using private companies, including corporate recruiters, to keep Western pilots unaware of their ties to the Chinese military until it is too late.

The US and its allies say China wants to better train its fighter pilots while gaining insight into Western air forces, which could offset Western advantages or even enhance the capabilities of Chinese fighters in the event of a conflict.

A bulletin issued by the Five Eyes alliance – which includes the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – says the PLA is using private companies in South Africa and China to scout out Western pilots and lure them with lucrative salaries.

The bulletin says other recruitment methods include personal connections, professional networking sites and online job platforms. The bulletin warns that ties to the Chinese government or military are often hidden.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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