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Chinese navy pilots survive fighter jet crash

The aircraft spun out of control because of a malfunction owing to “frequent nighttime training.”

By Elizabeth Shim
Chinese navy pilots survive fighter jet crash
Two Chinese navy pilots survived a military aircraft crash, after a People’s Liberation Army Jian-10 fighter tumbled during a night training exercise. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Two Chinese navy pilots survived a military aircraft crash, after a People's Liberation Army Jian-10 fighter tumbled during a night training exercise.

The aircraft spun out of control because of a malfunction owing to "frequent nighttime training," Chinese online news site Sina.com reported.

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According to Chinese press, a Jian-10 fighter jet was in operation before 5:30 p.m. Friday, local time, when it crashed in Zhejiang Province on China's east coast, near the city Taizhou.

Quoting a Chinese navy spokesman, state news agency Xinhua reported the two pilots managed to parachute safely after the plane had crashed. No other casualties were reported.

The fighter jet was part of China's East Sea Fleet Air Force, and Chinese press reported a Russian engine fitted to the aircraft had created problems, and most likely because of frequent nighttime flying.

In October, an armed Jian-10 fighter jet crashed near the northeastern Chinese city Shenyang, in Liaoning Province, but no casualties were reported.

China is planning to consolidate its military in order to improve operational efficiency, but remains concerned about arms deals between Taiwan and the United States.

Beijing recently summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to protest Washington's agreement to sell two warships to Taiwan, the BBC reported Thursday.

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The arms deal is worth $1.83 billion, and Taiwan had reportedly thanked the United States for the military support.

China said in statement Taiwan "is an inalienable part of China's territory" and that it "strongly opposes the U.S. arms sale."

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