China Air Force. German pilots train – DW – 03.06.2023

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius His Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, demanded a halt to the training program involving former German fighter pilots. “I made it clear to him that I expect these measures to end immediately, and that he would certainly not be happy if I tried something similar,” an SPD politician in Singapore said after meeting the Chinese general. According to the Social Democrat, the general “behaved very calmly, he did not contradict, but compared the situation”.

On Friday (June 2, 2023), the weekly magazine “Spiegel” and the public television channel ZDF reported that former fighter pilots from Germany have been training military pilots in China for years. According to these reports, at least several former German Air Force officers are working as interns in China. Their salaries “in many cases had to be diverted through fictitious companies in the Seychelles.”

During a meeting in Singapore, Boris Pistorius asked the Chinese side to suspend training with German coaches.Photo: Jens Crick/Flashpik/Image Alliance

Notice of Inquiry

The report also shows that some of them worked for the company One of the Chinese spies revealed. According to reports by two media outlets, several pilots did not answer their questions or were unable to communicate. One of the pilots denied the allegations. Pistorius announced the inquiry.

Despite this conflict, the German defense minister underlined the importance of efforts to defuse the conflict over Taiwan. As he pointed out after speaking with Li Shangfu: “There is no intention of isolating China.” There are various connections and interdependencies that cannot simply be removed. “We need to reduce our risks, reduce our biases,” Boris Pistorius said.

– Collective dialogue dominated by a common desire to preserve peace and overcome conflict. I consider it very important,” said the German minister. Thus, the political line in the Indo-Pacific region was clearly defined.

“Nothing we do here is against anyone, but an expression of the will to maintain peace in the Indo-Pacific region, which is open and safe for all,” the German defense minister stressed.


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