Britain has said it is stepping up efforts to stop former pilots from being recruited to train the Chinese military . According to British media reports, up to 30 former military pilots have been lured with a package as high as US$270,000 to provide training to the People’s Liberation Army. Britain and China agree to keep lines of dialogue open “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 British Ministry of Defence spokesman said. The ministry also issued a “threat alert” to warn all serving and former pilots against taking up the offer. It is also reviewing the use of confidentiality contracts and non-disclosure agreements. It said all British military personnel were subjected to secrecy laws, but no current laws had been broken. When asked about the reports, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing: “I am not aware of the circumstances you mentioned.” An official told Sky News that China was using a third-party company called Test Flying Academy of South Africa to recruit former British service personnel. The official told the broadcaster that China had been trying to recruit former pilots that trained on the F-35B fighter jet – which is equipped with highly sensitive stealth technology – but the attempt had been unsuccessful so far. Retired Chinese colonel Yue Gang said it was not necessary for China to recruit former pilots on such a large scale. “Retired pilots are of little value if there are no fighter jets for them to do combat training. There is no need to recruit 30 retired pilots, just a few as training consultants is sufficient,” he said. He also said China did not have F-35s, so there was no need to recruit pilots with knowledge of the planes on a large scale. Wang Yiwei, a Renmin University professor who specialises in European studies, said Britain was trying to further reinforce “the China threat” and to suppress China on all fronts. “There are no problems for many retired [personnel] going to the United States, to Europe or to other countries, but there are suddenly problems when they come to China,” he said. He added that the British Defence Ministry was responding to US warnings about the security threat from China. Last week the White House issued a national security strategy paper which listed “outcompeting China and restraining Russia” as its main challenges in the coming years. Wang Yiwei said Britain may strengthen its laws and increase restrictions on giving China access to intelligence, skills and military equipment and raw materials. Beijing says ‘troublemakers’ illegally entered its consulate in Manchester A new national security bill that is making its way through parliament will include “additional tools to tackle contemporary security challenges”, including concerns about Chinese recruitment, according to the Ministry of Defence. James Heappey, the armed forces minister, told Sky News that the ministry had been concerned about the issue for “a number of years”, adding that the law was going to be changed to make it illegal to ignore warnings against working with the Chinese military.