According to Richard Marles, the Australian Minister for Defence, officials are investigating reports that China was recruiting former Australian military pilots to pass on their experience. China has been luring former Royal Australian Air Force pilots with lucrative payments.

Marles found it appalling to hear that money would entice employees from China to serve China’s military purposes.

“I would be deeply shocked and disturbed to hear that there were personnel who were being lured by a paycheck from a foreign state above serving their own country.

“I have asked the department to investigate these claims and come back to my office with clear advice on this matter,” he said on October 19.

He asked for a transparent investigation after this matter occurred in the UK.

According to CNBC, one former Royal Australian Air Force pilot claimed he was offered almost $1 million a year to work for the Chinese military.

China is using third parties to also find British and other western pilots to directly train Chinese pilots.

Before, the UK government confirmed that China had recruited up to 30 former British military pilots for training. Former UK pilots accepted offers from China with packages worth up to $270,000.

The UK Ministry of Defence said it is taking decisive steps to stop China’s headhunting.

In addition, the UK government is looking to change the law to punish military pilots who pass on their expertise to the Chinese army.

“We are taking decisive steps to stop Chinese recruitment schemes attempting to headhunt serving and former UK armed forces pilots to train People’s Liberation Army personnel in the People’s Republic of China,” a spokesperson said.

“All serving and former personnel are already subject to the Official Secrets Act, and we are reviewing the use of confidentiality contracts and nondisclosure agreements across defence, while the new National Security Bill will create additional tools to tackle contemporary security challenges – including this one.”

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