Germany Launches Investigation into Alleged Training of Chinese Pilots by Former Military Personnel

Germany Launches Investigation into Alleged Training of Chinese Pilots by Former Military Personnel

Germany has announced an official investigation into reports suggesting that former military pilots are providing training to Chinese pilots, potentially linked to preparations for an attack on Taiwan. Der Spiegel and German public broadcaster ZDF recently published a story revealing that ex-German officers have been involved in training Chinese pilots for an extended period. One of the officers reportedly worked for a company owned by an exposed Chinese spy. Allegedly, the pilots receive payment through a shell company based in Seychelles.

Expressing concerns, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmerman stated, "It's time to put an end to this naivety, particularly the German naivety. Indirectly assisting China in strengthening its air force is unacceptable." While Germany, like other countries, has laws governing the activities of individuals with sensitive military backgrounds after retirement, Strack-Zimmerman suggested the need for legislation that limits such engagements to NATO allies and "strategic partners."

Several nations, including the United States and Canada, are currently investigating the involvement of ex-military pilots in China. Authorities have emphasized that severe consequences await those found guilty of sharing their training and expertise with Chinese pilots. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius highlighted the regulations outlined in the Soldiers' Act, which clearly define post-service obligations, reporting requirements, confidentiality obligations, and more. Meanwhile, former U.S. Marine pilot Daniel Duggan, an Australian citizen, remains in custody in Australia, contesting extradition to the United States over allegations of training Chinese pilots.

Germany's investigation aims to shed light on these concerning reports and address potential national security implications arising from the involvement of former military pilots in training Chinese counterparts.
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