Foreign Experts Possible Victims of China's Military Aircraft Accident

July 21, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: July 21, 2006 12:00 am

HONG KONG — Pakistani or Ukrainian experts could be among the victims of a Chinese military aircraft accident, revealed the Chinese Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Hong Kong on July 18. The military aircraft crashed in Anhui Province on June 3, killing all 40 people on board.

The Information Center said that the aircraft is China's Balance Beam KJ2000. It is the second airplane in the “No.1 High and New Technology” project and was made with the latest technology modified from “Type Three Platform of Transport Version Eight Aircraft” by Shaanxi Aircraft Industry Group (Shaanfei). The project was so important that the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had inspected the plane last year.

The Information Center revealed that some Pakistani and Ukrainian experts made frequent appearances in Shaanfei from April to May. In May, some high ranking air force officials showed up with Pakistani experts in Shuofang Airport in Jiangsu Province, the experimental airport for the crashed plane. However, no foreign experts appeared in those two places after the accident.

It is said that Ukrainian experts frequently directed Shaanfei on the essential technology for the making of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWAC) and two other Airborne Commander Posts. Pakistani experts had comprehensive supervision and cooperation on the Airborne Warning planes with China.

Moreover, the Chinese authorities kept highly confidential the names of the victims in the accident. The Information Center revealed that 31 of the 40 casualties have been identified including 15 servicemen and 16 non-servicemen. The identities of the other nine victims are still under investigation.

According to an informer, the 15 servicemen were from the Air Force Equipment Department. Nine of them were elites from the air force flight testing group including two important senior colonels, Shen Changsheng and Lei Zhiqiang who had participated in the flight testings of many new fighter planes such as Airborne Warning Plane, Airborne Command Post, Aerial Refueling Craft, Feibao Fighter Jet, and so on.

Twelve of the 16 non servicemen were from the research institute of the China Electronics Corp (CEC). Three were from Shaanfei Group and one from Northwest Industrial University.