China 'actively' courting Western military trainers: Five Eyes - Nation |

China The recruitment of current and former Western officials is being “actively” pursued army The Five Eyes alliance countries issued a joint warning on Wednesday that no foreign troops should be allowed to train the People's Liberation Army of China.

A statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on behalf of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership said Beijing is using private companies in South Africa and China to recruit potential talent from NATO and Western countries with “high salaries”.

According to the Five Eyes Communiqué published by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “by far the most sought-after targets are military pilots” and other air force personnel—those who Warnings have been issued for years And take steps to try to cope with it.

But China responded to those warnings by adjusting its strategy and broadening its targets to include “technical experts familiar with Western military tactics, techniques and procedures,” the communique said.

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“Insights the PLA gains from Western military talent threaten the security of targeted recruits, their fellow soldiers, and the United States and its allies,” the communique stated.

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Asked about the announcement and what the U.S. military is doing to discourage service members from accepting Chinese recruiting invitations, Pentagon deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said the issue was being taken seriously.

She smiled and said: “I think loyalty to the country is also what we have been passing on to the soldiers.”

The Five Eyes alliance (Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand) has warned that China is also trying to hire former pilots from Germany, France and other Western countries.

The bulletin warned that “nefarious recruitment attempts are not always obvious” because companies conceal their ties to the PLA.

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The consultancy said potential candidates may be contacted directly by headhunters or contacts in the military, or indirectly through professional social networking sites and online job search platforms.

“The job offer may be in China, South Africa or elsewhere, offering lucrative contracts and the chance to fly exotic aircraft, but details of the end client are unknown,” it said of the job offer.

The advisory urged anyone who had been recruited or knew someone who had been recruited to contact the U.S. military and the FBI, as well as their country’s military counterintelligence services.

Canadians are urged to contact the Canadian Armed Forces National Counterintelligence Service and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

“Today’s joint Five Eyes advisory is intended to highlight this ongoing threat and deter any serving or retired Western service member from taking actions that put their military colleagues at risk and erode our national security,” NCSC Director Michael C. Casey said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Warnings about China’s military recruitment tactics date back to at least 2022, when the BBC reported that dozens of former British military pilots had been recruited to train members of the People’s Liberation Army. The pilots were reportedly offered “generous” packages of up to $350,000.

Although Canada was not mentioned in the article, the Daily Mail reported that Canadians were also invited to serve in these training positions.

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Last September, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed to Global News that it was investigating the report and asking former Royal Canadian Air Force pilots whether they had provided information to Beijing, but would not comment further.

Global News has reached out to the RCMP to determine if the investigation is still ongoing.

Shortly after the comments were made, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre and the deputy defence minister warned members of the Canadian Forces Oppose cooperation and sharing of information with militaries “that are contrary to our interests.”

“Our adversaries and competitors proactively leverage Canada's experience and that of our allies in an effort to enhance their own capabilities, knowledge and expertise,” the statement said.

“All members of the defence team, civilian and military, active and retired, must realise this stark reality. It is real.”

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Federal Government The recent introduction of foreign interference laws, Bill C-70 would update the Security of Information Act to include members of the Canadian Forces on the permanent classified persons list. This would limit who serving and former Canadian military personnel can train or share information with.

The bill would also amend the definition of “special operations information” that cannot be shared to include “military weaknesses or strengths of the Canadian Forces.”

Under the bill, a person convicted of leaking special operations information could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison. A person convicted of an immediately convictable offense could be sentenced to up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

However, anyone who leaks that information to a foreign entity or terrorist group could face life in prison.

The Five Eyes communique said the allies had also imposed commercial restrictions on the Test Flight Academy of South Africa (TFASA), Beijing Aviation Technology Corporation (BCAT), Stratos “and other PLA suppliers that utilize Western and NATO personnel.”

CSIS also warned that China is working to recruit Canadians People who “work in strategic areas or have high-value qualifications” share information with Beijing by posing as human resources recruiters or security consultants.

— Attached by Aaron D'Andrea and Nathaniel Dove of Global

© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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