Australia probes China for recruiting its ex-pilots for military training

Sydney, Australia, Oct 19 (EFE).- Australian authorities said Wednesday they were investigating whether China tried to recruit its ex-pilots to train members of the Popular Liberation Army (PLA).

The announcement follows BBC reports of former British soldiers having been recruited by Beijing.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles said that he has asked his department to investigate the matter and provide “clear advice” on it, according to The Australian newspaper.

The same media entity reported that some Australians were part of a group of 30 pilots, mostly British, recruited by the Chinese army via a South African flight school.

Earlier, on Tuesday the BBC reported that Beijing sought to recruit British ex-pilots to train members of the PLA, in exchange for “lucrative packages” of about 272,900 euros ($268,834).

British authorities confirmed they were considering legal action to check such recruitment, while the BBC revealed that around 30 former pilots of the UK had gone to China.

Marles added that he would be “deeply shocked and disturbed” to learn that there were members of the Australian military “being lured by a paycheck” above “serving their own country.” EFE


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