China helps Vietnam to search for missing fighter jet

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-06-22 16:55

BEIJING, June 22 (ChinaMil) –As of June 19, the Chinese military has been working on the third consecutive day in the Beibu Gulf to look for two missing Vietnamese aircraft and crew.

A Su-30 fighter jet of the Vietnamese Air Force crashed in the waters of the Beibu Gulf, and later, a Vietnamese coast guard plane searching for the missing fighter jet also disappeared. At the request of the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense, China sent out ships and aircraft to join the search and rescue task.

China’s humanitarian rescue for Vietnam reflects China’s magnanimity and responsibility as a major power, Chinese military experts told reporters on June 19.

The Chinese Navy sent four ships to the Beibu Gulf to help search and rescue the Vietnamese fighter jet, coast guard aircraft and crew on June 17th.

China deployed additional forces on June 18 by sending a total of eight ships and three aircraft including four warships, three coast guard ships, one salvage lifting vessel, one fixed-wing aircraft of the Chinese Navy, one helicopter and one fixed-wing aircraft of the Chinese Air Force.

According to previous official information, the Chinese Navy sent four warships including one submarine chaser, one missile boat and two minesweepers.

Chinese military expert Li Jie said in an interview on June 19 that the premise of Vietnam’s request is that they have limited search capabilities and the missing Vietnamese aircraft did not have advanced confidential technology.

Fu Qianshao, an expert in the Chinese Air Force, said on June 19 that if one country has sufficient search and rescue capabilities, it will not ask other countries to help whether it is a military or a civilian plane crash.

Fu believed that the Vietnamese plane crash is complicated as the position of the falling area is not particularly clear and the waters might be very deep and it requires specialized salvage equipment, which Vietnam does not have.

Speaking on the fact that Vietnamese Ministry of Defense invited China to assist in the search, Fu said that the premise is the certain trust between China and Vietnam. Otherwise, it is impossible to allow other countries to participate in search and salvage tasks.

Fu analyzed that the Su-30 fighter jet is imported from Russia and many Southeast Asian countries are using this type of aircraft and so is China. Therefore, there is not much need for confidentiality in terms of technical parameters of the aircraft.

"The black box has recorded some technical movements during training of the Vietnamese Air Force, but simulated air combat and dog fight do not have much need for confidentiality. The flight data of one single pilot do not represent the overall combat level of the Vietnamese Air Force," said Fu.

Li Jie said that China sent troops to help Vietnam to search and rescue the missing aircraft and it shows that the Chinese side wants to maintain China-Vietnam traditional friendship and it also reflects China’s magnanimity in willing to provide humanitarian aid at critical moments.

Li Jie said that actions like this might help remind Vietnam to realize the importance of China in maintaining stability in the South China Sea.

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